Army bomb disposal experts have undertaken the controlled explosion of a 1,000kg ‘Hermann bomb’ dating from the Second World War on an Exeter construction site.
The blast left a crater the size of a double-decker bus on the site on Glenthorne Road, where contractor Urbn Construction has been building student accommodation.
A 400m cordon was set up around the bomb following its discovery last week, prompting the evacuation of around 2,600 local residents, and the army built a metal ‘mitigation structure’ around the bomb, as well as using 400 tonnes of sand to help to minimise damage.
UPDATE: This is the moment a WW2 bomb was detonated in #Exeter. Image courtesy of Exeter City Council. #Police would like to thank the residents of Exeter, particularly the 2,600 evacuated households and our partner agencies who have worked so hard to ensure the safety of all pic.twitter.com/fhxJFqBqT8— Devon & Cornwall Police (@DC_Police) February 27, 2021
Following the detonation on Saturday (27 February), a crane has been used to remove large pieces of metal that formed part of the mitigation structure from nearby rooves. Some pieces of debris were propelled as far as 250m away from the site of the bomb during the explosion. Some nearby homes suffered broken windows and structural damage.
The bomb was around 2.5m in length and 70cm in width and while Devon & Cornwall Police said discovery of Second World War ordnance was not unusual in the area, this particular type of bomb was uncommon.
Residents outside of the 100m exclusion zone were allowed to return home on Sunday (28 February).