Three members of a bomb disposal team were killed and six people wounded in the central German city of Goettingen when a World War II bomb exploded during attempts to disarm the weapon.
Among the wounded Tuesday night, two people had serious injuries but were expected to survive.
Uncovered at a depth of seven metres, the bomb went off during preparatory work by bomb squad members, apparently prior to the beginning of their planned attempt to disarm the device.
Goettingen is famous as a university town in the northern German state of Lower Saxony.
Goettingen city spokesman Detlef Johannson said that the detonation occurred during what had appeared to be a "routine deactivation". The cause of the accident was not immediately known.
About 7,000 people within a 1,000-metre radius of the bomb site were still being evacuated when the blast occurred. They remained barred from returning to their homes early Wednesday, and several hundred evacuees were sheltered in two local schools.
Goettingen's train station, which lies a few blocks from the bomb site, was closed for several hours but reopened overnight.
Police and firefighters were working overnight at the scene with an investigation underway.