Update: Pictures of bomb scare at Honiton auctioneers
PUBLISHED: 14:11 19 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:33 19 August 2015
A Honiton auction room had to be evacuated this morning after one of the owners uncovered a wartime mortar bomb.
Edward Whitton, of Whittons Auctioneers, said he had ‘no idea’ that the bomb was in the sealed box, which was consigned in a large quantity of containers.
The auction house, on Dowell Street, has been sealed off by police, who confirmed the bomb squad was en route to Honiton.
A police spokesman refused to confirm whether the bomb was live.
Owner Maria Whitton has praised her husband for being ‘so calm’ In dealing with the discovery. She said: “Thank god Ed was there. He asked us quietly to leave and then called the police.
“We have never had anything like this before. We have all sorts of stuff in this auction room, but this was the first for us. You never think something like this could happen.”
Mr Whitton said: “I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. I had never seen one in real life.”
The couple were sorting their items for their next auction, being held on Thursday, August 27.
Neighbourhood beat manager Steve Lee said it was likely that an X-ray truck would be arriving on the scene shortly.
He said: “We are going to keep the scene exactly how it is, no one will be allowed on the site.
“The truck will pick up the bomb and make sure if it’s got any explosives left in it. Because this is a bomb rather than an IED, they have to make sure.
“Families find trophies of war a lot in East Devon. We are not planning to close the road - we just have to make sure everyone is safe.”
More to follow.