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Plymouth WW2 bomb in garden detonated at sea

  • Thousands evacuated in Plymouth
  • WWII bomb detonated at sea
  • Operation ends major disruption

A 500-kilogramme (1,102-pound) German weapon from World War II has been detonated at sea, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people from Plymouth.

The discovery of the inert device in a garden on St. Michael Avenue on Tuesday resulted in four days of disruption.

As the bomb was transported 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometres) through the city’s streets on Friday, police closed roads and halted rail and transit services.

At 21:51 GMT, the device was taken by vessel beyond the breakwater and detonated.

This marks the end of significant disruption for thousands of Plymouth residents.

On Friday afternoon, a provisional cordon of 300 metres (984 feet) was established to allow for the bomb’s transportation by a military convoy from the Keyham area of the city to the Torpoint Ferry slipway.

Plymouth City Council reported that the cordon included 10,320 people and 4,300 properties.

From 14:00 GMT, residents were advised to leave their homes for about three hours to ensure their safety.

Several road closures and the suspension of rail and transit services were necessary to move the bomb through the city.

The cordon was lifted shortly after 17:30.

Resident Vicky Brotherton expressed “extreme relief” at returning home after spending the previous four days in a caravan in Cornwall, describing it as “a very anxious time for us.”

A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in ensuring a safe conclusion; His Majesty’s forces have been particularly commendable.

Local resident Jeannette Ssentongo was relieved that the device had been moved.

She said, “Every morning at work, I checked my phone.” It has been worrying.

Christine Jolley, who lives on St Aubyn Avenue in Keyham, found the past few days “extremely stressful.”

“It’s been awful; we were among the first to leave the house on Tuesday morning, but we didn’t take any belongings with us.”

We were allowed back to pick up my husband’s medication in the evening, and that was it.

Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, thanked everyone who helped remove the bomb.

He said it had brought a “genuine military spirit” to the city.

Mr. Evans said, “It’s safe to say that the past few days have been a milestone in Plymouth’s history.”

This wartime bomb has brought out a real wartime spirit, with people coming together to support each other. Though it has been incredibly tough, we have managed to get through it.

Community and Forces Unite in Operation

The council reported that evacuees used the Life Centre leisure centre as an emergency rest area.

“Patience and cooperation” from the public, as well as the “bravery and fortitude” of those involved in the “extremely complex operation,” were praised by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

He stated on Friday: “I want to thank all our personnel… who worked tirelessly throughout the week to ensure public safety and minimise potential harm.

This operation’s success is a testament to the skill and determination of our armed forces, as well as the courage and perseverance of our personnel when facing extreme stress and dangerous conditions.

Since Tuesday, about thirty of the Armed Forces’ most experienced bomb disposal experts have been continuously assessing the bomb’s condition. This is according to the Ministry of Defence.

The city’s cultural centre and museum, The Box, believes the device was dropped during one of WWII’s deadliest bombing nights.

Using “bomb maps” from the conflict, the museum identified the detonation as occurring on April 22 or 23, 1941. The museum reports that approximately 1,362 bombs were dropped on the city during the war.

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