WORLD NEWS

A World War II bomb prompted an evacuation in England before being taken to sea to be blown up

Feb 23, 2024, 12:08 PM

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue gather after homes were evacuated when a suspected Secon...

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue gather after homes were evacuated when a suspected Second World War explosive device was discovered in a garden on St Michael Avenue in Plymouth, England, Thursday Feb. 22, 2024. (Matt Keeble/PA via AP)

(Matt Keeble/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — An unexploded World War II bomb was safely transported Friday through the eerily empty streets of the southwestern English port city of Plymouth before being placed on a boat for its next and final journey to sea where it will be blown up by naval divers.

In what prompted one of the largest evacuations in the United Kingdom since the war, a military convoy carried the Nazi-era explosive from a residential backyard in the city to Plymouth’s shoreline.

After a huge security operation, around 10,000 people were told they could now return home.

“We have been notified by the military that the operation has been a success and the bomb has been removed,” Plymouth City Council said. “We can now start removing the cordon so people who have been evacuated can return to their homes.”

Many ended up at pubs during the evacuation as residents sought out a safe shelter.

Plymouth, a famous naval port about 240 miles (385 kilometers) southwest of London, is where the Mayflower set sail from in 1620 carrying Pilgrim settlers to America. The city was targeted by Germany’s Luftwaffe during World War II, particularly during the Blitz in 1940 and 1941.

More than 2,500 high explosive bombs were dropped on the city during the war, with many missing their intended target and falling on residential areas. Over the course of the war, more than 1,100 civilians in the city died during the air raids.

The bomb, which was found in a residential yard on Tuesday, was taken to the Torpoint Ferry slipway to be disposed of at sea beyond the breakwater. The bomb is believed to weigh around 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds), according to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and will no doubt make a mighty splash once it is detonated.

The decision to move the bomb was taken after an assessment by bomb disposal experts concluded that there would be too high a risk of significant damage, including the destruction of a number of houses, if the device were detonated in the yard.

Devon and Cornwall Police Superintendent Phil Williams said moving the bomb was the “least impactful option.”

The main train line into the city was closed as the convoy traveled through the cordon, while ferries were suspended and buses diverted. Schools and nurseries also closed to allow the operation to take place, while all businesses within the cordon were told to evacuate.

Giles Perritt, assistant chief executive Plymouth City Council, said that more than 1,000 staff and officers have been involved in the operation to remove the bomb safely. He thanked colleagues from the military, particularly those “at the wheel.”

Since the end of the World War II, unexploded ordnance have been regularly found across the U.K. An estimated 10% of German bombs that were dropped during the war didn’t go off, leaving many towns and cities in the U.K. littered with dangerous explosives.

When unexploded bombs are found, they are usually detonated on site and don’t spark mass evacuations.

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is pictured in Kyiv on April 15. Ukraine is tightening pre...

Radina Gigova, CNN

Ukraine tightens pressure on military age men abroad as part of wider mobilization rules overhaul

Ukraine is tightening pressure on men of call-up age living abroad by temporarily suspending consular services, amid a wider overhaul of the country’s mobilization rules aimed at beefing up its defenses against Russia’s invasion.

5 hours ago

Inside of Utah State University's Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training....

Mike Anderson

Autism program at Utah State University is helping kids across the world

An overseas supermodel turned philanthropist is getting help from Utah State University to teach children with autism.

1 day ago

WASHINGTON - APRIL 14:  Activists line Wisconsin Avenue during a vigil outside the residence of Vic...

Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

Jury deliberating in Iraq Abu Ghraib prison abuse civil case; contractor casts blame on Army

A lawyer for a military contractor being sued by three survivors of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq says the plaintiffs are suing the wrong people.

2 days ago

FILE: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked US lawmakers after they voted in favor of a ne...

Maria Kostenko, Andrew Carey, Frederik Pleitgen, Tamar Michaelis, Samantha Waldenberg and Daria Tarasova-Markina, CNN

Ukraine’s Zelensky and Israel’s Netanyahu hail House passage of $95 billion foreign aid package

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu have thanked US lawmakers after they voted in favor of new aid packages for their countries worth billions of dollars.

4 days ago

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani addresses the opening session on...

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Israel gave US last-minute warning about drone attack on Iran, Italian foreign minister says at G7

The United States told the Group of Seven foreign ministers on Friday that it received “last minute” information from Israel about a drone action in Iran, Italy’s foreign minister said.

6 days ago

air strike seen from a distance...

CNN

Israel has carried out a strike inside Iran, US official tells CNN, as region braces for escalation

Israel has carried out a military strike inside Iran, a US official told CNN Friday, a potentially dangerous escalation in a fast-widening Middle East conflict that Iranian government officials have so far sought to play down.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

A World War II bomb prompted an evacuation in England before being taken to sea to be blown up