Residents of South Italy were ordered to leave the location after the bomb is found.
According to the details, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the run-up to the operation, comprising more than 60% of the city’s population. Local media described it as the largest operation of its kind since the end of the war.
The British bomb, uncovered by construction workers on 2 November during refurbishment works at a cinema, is believed to have been dropped on the port city in 1941.
— ART News (@artnewsit) December 15, 2019
The explosive was identified as a British bomb presumably dropped on Brindisi in 1941. It weighed more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and carried 40 kilograms of dynamite.
The bomb was discovered during a refurbishment project for a cinema. However, workers had damaged part of the bomb, raising the likelihood that the explosive could detonate during Sunday’s operation.
#14dicembre da questa mattina gli #artificieri dell'Esercito, provenienti dall’11° Reggimento Genio Guastatori della Brigata Pinerolo hanno avviato i lavori di protezione per la bonifica della bomba della 2ª Guerra Mondiale rinvenuta a Brindisi #EsercitoItaliano #dipiùinsieme pic.twitter.com/0MB3nRoByi
— Esercito Italiano (@Esercito) December 14, 2019
Brindisi has always played an important role due to its strategic south-eastern position on the Italian peninsula. During the Second
World War, it was used as a military port by fascist Italy’s Navy, and was relentlessly bombed by Allied forces.
Sunday’s evacuation comes two weeks after over 10,000 people were evacuated in Turin. The bomb that caused the fuss on that occasion was also a 500-pound British munition. According to the authorities, it contained 65kg (140lbs) of TNT.