- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Sparks flew in Philadelphia as crews used blowtorches and power saws to remove locked, abandoned bikes from poles and parking meters across the city.

The two-day sweep ending Thursday prioritized areas designated for the upcoming papal visit.

About 73 bikes were seized in the cleanup, according to the mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities.

Thirteen of those abandoned rides were given to a nonprofit for rehab and donation to local children.

Prior to the sweep, more than 140 bikes had been tagged with warnings to give owners the chance to move them. Many were then reclaimed.

Another sweep is planned before Labor Day. Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27.

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