Great Yarmouth: Work to defuse WW2 bomb begins


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Mar 16, 2023

Great Yarmouth: Work to defuse WW2 bomb begins

Bomb disposal experts have begun work to defuse an unexploded World War Two

Bomb disposal experts have begun work to defuse an unexploded World War Two device found in a Norfolk town.

Hundreds of people have been asked to leave their properties after the bomb was discovered on Southtown Road in Great Yarmouth on Tuesday morning.

Norfolk Police said a robot would cut into the device twice and the process could take several hours.

The news means many residents face a third night away from their homes, with two shelters being set up.

Earlier, the Army's Explosive Ordnance Device (EOD) team found that a blast could potentially affect two gas main pipes and it went away to do further calculations. However, it believed it could now "proceed without causing that damage", said Supt Nathan Clark, from Norfolk Police.

He added that the work could take between six and 12 hours and "it's quite likely we'll be here for another day".

The device - about 1m (3.2ft) long and weighing about 250kg (39st 5lbs) - was discovered by a contractor working on the third crossing over the River Yare.

Police declared a major incident on Tuesday night after the "risk changed" and ordered the evacuation of 230 properties in a 200m (656ft) inner cordon around Bollard Quay.

Those inside an outer cordon, which spans between 200-400m (1,312ft), have also been "strongly advised" to go elsewhere.

A sand wall has been built around the bomb.

The Army will start the defusing process by using a robot to cut the fuse and trigger.

A controlled detonation of the fuse will be carried out - and if successful, the remainder of the device would be moved out to sea or to a military range for another controlled explosion, police said.

A surface to 2,000ft (610m) no-fly zone has been put in place.

Supt Nathan Clark said: "I know it's caused disruption to the 230 households who've been asked to leave for the whole of this period.

"Police, council, health will all work to ensure that you're all given as much support as you need."

Residents at Avery Lodge Care Home have been told they might have to evacuate on Friday.

"Our council and our health partners have been looking and assessing vulnerability right from the offset of this, like we do in any evacuation, and I'm pretty sure they'll be putting in all the care and support that people need," Mr Clark added.

"These things can go wrong, they can go horribly wrong, so our hope is that we do come to a safe conclusion and we should all be crossing our fingers for that."

Several road closures are in place in the area.

Rest centres are open at St George's Theatre in King Street and at Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre on Magdalen Way, Gorleston.

People who require assistance with evacuation from the exclusion zone can call an emergency helpline on 01493 330369. Police said the number should not be used for general advice.

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