UXO evacuation in Plymouth

The discovery of a wartime bomb prompted the evacuation of more than 10,000 people after the device was unearthed in a Plymouth garden.

Authorities were called to St Michael Avenue in the city's Keyham area on February 20, after a builder unearthed a metal object in a back garden. After an initial assessment, a 200m cordon was placed around the property and a major incident was declared. More than 100 armed forces personnel were involved in the complex operation to extract the bomb and move it to Plymouth Dock for disposal.

Members of the Army’s 11 EOD and Search and Rescue Regiment, elements from 35 Engineer Regiment and 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) and scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory were on scene to assess the condition of the device, which was identified as a German SC 500 – a 500kg bomb with a 490lb (220kg) warhead used by the Luftwaffe. As the bomb posed a significant threat, the cordon was extended to 300m with 3,000 residents told to evacuate. Eighty personnel from nearby HNMB Devonport were drafted in to support Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Devon and Cornwall Police in moving the locals to safety.

Plymouth City Council then released a sta…

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