This is the moment a World War Two bomb unearthed on a building site in Exeter was detonated after thousands of people were today evacuated from their homes.
UPDATE: Residents told not to return home yet after Exeter WW2 bomb blast leaves crater ‘the size of a double-decker bus’
Army experts carried out the controlled explosion in Glenthorne Road, near the city’s university, this evening.
It follows a huge emergency response which swung into action after the 8ft-long device, pictured, was discovered on Friday morning (February 26).
Some 2,600 residents and a further 1,400 students have been evacuated from the area.
A police cordon was expanded from 100metres to 400metres this morning.
The Army’s Royal Logistics Corps took over from Royal Navy bomb disposal experts at the site today.
Both teams worked through the night to create a walled ‘mitigation structure’ with 400 tonnes of sand and trenches were also dug to prevent ground shock.
Assessments are now being conducted by various utility companies and it is hoped residents can return home tonight
Coastguard teams from Beer and Exmouth were among the multi-agency response on Friday night and helped ensure homes were empty.
Superintendent Antony Hart, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said earlier today: “This multi-agency operation is progressing well. We would like to thank all members of the public who have been affected by this incident, particularly residents who have been compliant in evacuating. We understand the disruption caused and appreciate everyone’s patience.”
Devon county and Exeter city councils have been working with other partners to support residents to find alternative accommodation and those particularly at-risk or vulnerable.
The University of Exeter has been supporting students in its halls of residences in the relocation process, which has involved the use of hotels and vacant university residences.
Road closures have been in place in Cowley Bridge and Exe Bridges.
A Devon County Council spokesperson added: “Anyone who was required to leave their home while the bomb disposal team work to make the area safe has been encouraged to visit friends or family, unless they are COVID-19 positive or self-isolating. Support is being provided to these individuals around suitable accommodation.
“Those who are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable have been offered additional support and advice to help them remain safe.
“Visiting friends and family is allowed in these circumstances for matters of public safety, despite current COVID-19 restrictions. All households have been advised to follow Government guidelines of hands, space, face when leaving their property.
“Any local residents who are worried or concerned can phone Devon County Council on 0345 155 1015 for advice on accommodation and other support.
“Residents are encouraged to monitor local media outlets throughout the day for regular updates and news on when they can return home.”
- Any residents worried or concerned can phone Devon County Council on 0345 155 1015 for advice on accommodation and other support. The line will be open until 10pm this evening (Saturday 27 February).