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Italian bomb disposal personnel exploded a leftover World War II 500-pound bomb in Formia on Tuesday morning, five days after it was discovered near the town’s train station.

The discovery forced the evacuation of 10,000 residents, including 11 American families from the nearby Naval Support Activity Gaeta. It also led to the closure of the main rail and coastal road line between Rome and Naples over the weekend.

The bomb was blown up around 10:45 a.m., and authorities opened the coastal road around 1 p.m. Residents displaced by the bomb discovery were allowed to return to their homes Tuesday evening.

The planned detonation also caused Navy officials to close the Gaeta American School and MWR-operated child development center Tuesday, plus cancel the scheduled bus run to and from Naples High School.

On Wednesday, the school and child care center were expected to open, and the high school bus run was expected to resume.

A Naval Support Activity Gaeta news release stated that the closure and cancelled high school bus run would not affect the minimum number of days students are required to attend classes and would not be made up at the end of the school year.


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