Berlin police are evacuating thousands of people from the city centre and shutting down the main train station in preparation for the removal of an unexploded Second World War bomb found during recent construction work.

Police said on Friday that about 10,000 residents and workers were being forced to leave an area of about a square mile, including the train station, for bomb experts to defuse the 1,100lb British bomb dropped during the war.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said train stops at the busy station would end at 10am, and at 11.30am through traffic would also be shut down before experts began their work.

It is not clear how long the work will take.

Even 73 years after the end of the war, such discoveries are common in major German cities.