Unexploded bomb detonated in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 17:05 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:20 25 August 2017

Royal Navy Bomb Disposal unit in Beggars Lane Honiton. Ref mhh 34 17TI 9698. Picture: Terry Ife

Royal Navy Bomb Disposal unit in Beggars Lane Honiton. Ref mhh 34 17TI 9698. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

An area of Honiton was cordoned off after an unexploded bomb was discovered in Beggars Lane.

Residents of a Honiton road were stunned earlier this afternoon after a grenade dating back to the second world war was dug up by a gardener.

The unexploded bomb was found in the undergrowth of a property in Beggars Lane at around 2.30pm, prompting police to put in place a 50 metre cordon.

An explosive ordnance disposal team was sent from Plymouth and detonated the grenade after packing it with plastic explosives and re-covering it with soil.

A spokesman for Royal Navy Bomb Disposal’s Southern Diving Unit One said: “We drove down from Plymouth after the device was discovered.

“The grenade is a World War Two Mills Grenade Mark V.

“It was quite rusty, but all the pieces were intact - it was still live and dangerous.”

The spokesman said the bomb squad placed the grenade in a hole dug in a middle of a nearby field, before packing it down with plastic explosives, adding: “We had to make sure it was safe as it was quite close to houses.”

The device was then detonated with a loud bang.

A resident of Exeter road, parallel to Beggars Lane, said: “I heard the bang - it sounded serious.

“We had no warning. We thought it was a serious car accident, because it was such a loud thud.”

Stephen Lee, an officer on Sidmouth’s neighbourhood policing team, attended the scene - a week after a similar device was uncovered in a garage in Sidmouth.

He said: “It is unusual to find two of the same ordnance in a week. However, nowadays people are getting older and we are attending addresses where people are clearing out.

“It’s not unusual to find ordnance in people’s houses, especially ex-military personnel.

“That being said, nothing surprises me in policing nowadays - I’m now going for the hat trick!”

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