Wartime bomb made safe after city evacuation

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The Independent Online

A German Second World War bomb has been made safe and removed from a city centre, police said today.

Hundreds of people were evacuated when the device was discovered by builders in Plymouth city centre yesterday afternoon.

Police imposed a 300-metre exclusion zone around Notte Street, which saw hotels, restaurants, shops and homes evacuated.

Around 190 people sheltered at a rest centre at the Pavilions leisure centre until it was safe to return home, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

The 70kg bomb was stabilised by the Ministry of Defence explosive ordnance disposal team before being moved to Millbay and taken off shore to be disposed of.

Police were called to the site at around 3.40pm on Thursday after workmen found the partially buried device.

They evacuated the area on the site of the former NAAFI building on Notte Street, which is being demolished.

A police spokesman said: "The MoD explosive ordnance disposal team carried out an assessment of the device, which turned out be a 70kg German wartime bomb of the same type found on another city centre site two years ago.

"There was a multi-agency response to deal with the evacuation of the area, which included more than 500 properties including flats, restaurants and hotels.

"The exclusion zone included the Civic Centre and Guildhall.

"Police, fire and rescue and ambulance services were on the scene throughout the incident, as well as civil protection officers from Plymouth City Council.

"The council's community services department provided support for evacuated families.

"The agencies praised residents for their support and co-operation throughout the incident, as well as local businesses, some of whom provided refreshments for the emergency services."