Suspected World War II Bomb Found in Plymouth Garden – Hundreds Evacuated

Suspected World War II Bomb Found in Plymouth Garden – Hundreds Evacuated

Hundreds of residents in Plymouth, Devon, are facing a second night away from their homes as a suspected World War II bomb was discovered in a back garden, leading to a major incident declaration.

The bomb was exposed by the father of the property owner and a builder, prompting a call to the police.

A 200-meter cordon was established as the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team arrived to assess the situation.

The evacuation zone is set to be extended to 300 meters, necessitating further evacuations.

Challenges in Bomb Disposal:

Bomb disposal experts are working to render the unexploded device safe, a process expected to have a ‘significant impact.’

A ‘gold command meeting’ involving various agencies will strategize over the coming days.

Authorities are bringing in ‘thousands of tonnes of sand’ to surround the bomb, a measure taken due to the bomb’s location, size, and power.

The complexity of the situation has triggered discussions led by EOD experts to determine the most effective course of action.

Nature of the Suspected Bomb:

The Royal Navy’s EOD unit identified the bomb as an ‘SC500 transverse fuzed airdrop weapon,’ a general-purpose bomb used by the Luftwaffe during World War II.

The SC500 typically weighs 500kg and measures 80 inches long.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed its identity, shedding light on the potential risks associated with the unexploded device.

Extended Evacuation Period and Support:

The city council announced an extension of the cordon for at least 36 hours, urging affected residents to make arrangements to stay with relatives or friends.

Evacuation support is provided at the local leisure center, but the council emphasized that pets would not be accepted at the facilities.

Residents within the new cordon are encouraged to collect essential belongings for the evacuation period.

Police Response and Public Cooperation:

Devon and Cornwall Police prioritize the safety of the public, acknowledging the impact on Plymouth residents.

Chief Superintendent Matt Longman expressed gratitude for the public’s patience and reassured that experts are on-site, though dealing with the situation takes time.

The police acknowledge that the occupants of the home knew about the bomb several days before authorities were notified on Tuesday.

Uncertainty and Community Response:

Residents forced to leave their homes face uncertainty regarding the duration of the evacuation.

Some have opted to stay in hotels until allowed back home, while others express understanding, considering the city’s history of bomb discoveries from World War II.

The police underscore the ongoing efforts to manage the situation and ensure public safety.

Conclusion:

The discovery of the suspected World War II bomb in Plymouth has prompted a coordinated response involving various agencies, emphasizing the need for careful bomb disposal procedures.

As authorities work to address the situation, ongoing communication and support for affected residents remain crucial elements in managing this unexpected challenge.

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