Great Yarmouth Borough: World War II bomb explodes in England in ‘“unplanned” detonation KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Sunday, February 12, 2023

Great Yarmouth Borough: World War II bomb explodes in England in ‘“unplanned” detonation

Officials first became aware of the 250 kilogram (about 550 pounds) explosive on Tuesday, Feb. 7, when a contractor who was doing dredging work in the River Yare discovered it, according to a news release from the city. 

Emergency services and local authorities declared a "major incident" and activated emergency plans. An Explosion Ordnance Device team was also summoned to the area. Roads were closed and the immediate area was evacuated. In a news release, officials said that a protective sandbox had been built around the bomb in case of an unexpected detonation. That sandbox prevented injuries, and on Twitter, officials said that "no one was injured" in the day's events. 

Evacuation orders have been lifted and Great Yarmouth Borough Council Chief Executive Sheila Oxtoby thanked community members for their patience and understanding throughout the multi-day process. 

"This has been an unsettling time for many people, most of all for those who were evacuated from their homes. Safety of the public has been at the heart of decision making throughout this multi-agency operation. While it may have been slow, yesterday afternoon's events show why it was so important to take all necessary measures to minimize any risk to the public," Oxtoby said, according to the news release. "... I'd like to thank everyone involved for bringing this to a safe conclusion and we will continue to help those residents displaced." 

It's not clear how many people were displaced due to the explosion. Cordons were put in place when the bomb was first discovered close to two gas pipes on Tuesday, and work began to make it safe.

The cordons, at 200m (656ft) and 400m (1,312ft) from the bomb, were lifted on Friday evening.

Most roads have been reopened and residents have been allowed to return to their homes.

Norfolk's assistant chief constable, Nick Davison, said: "The device detonated shortly after work had started to disarm the device.

"The approach had been the safest option to disarm the device. However, it always carried a risk of unintended detonation.

"Thankfully, all personnel have been accounted for and agencies are coming together to assess damage to the river wall."

Norfolk County Council's deputy leader, Graham Plant, issued "a heartfelt thank you" to those who brought the incident to "a safe conclusion".

"From the emergency services, the Army, government agencies, frontline staff at both the borough and county councils, all the contractors and community volunteers and anyone who has helped or supported in any way, you all deserve our utmost praise," he said.

"We will continue to support vulnerable residents in this process and our highways team and their colleagues from the Environment Agency can begin to assess the impact of the explosion."

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