Carver team rush to detonate bomb

PUBLISHED: 16:19 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 18:00 31 May 2010

Soldiers from 33 Engineer Regiment had to pack sack around the device to absorb the blast and reduce the fragmentation. This was the scene of the controlled explosion, which would have been quite a spectacular sight for passing motorists Picture:  CHRIS B

Soldiers from 33 Engineer Regiment had to pack sack around the device to absorb the blast and reduce the fragmentation. This was the scene of the controlled explosion, which would have been quite a spectacular sight for passing motorists Picture: CHRIS B

BOMB disposal experts from the Carver Barracks in Saffron Walden have carried out a controlled explosion of a Second World War RAF bomb. Under the command of Captain Tim Ives, the explosive and ordnance disposal team travelled from their base at Wimbish t

BOMB disposal experts from the Carver Barracks in Saffron Walden have carried out a controlled explosion of a Second World War RAF bomb.

Under the command of Captain Tim Ives, the explosive and ordnance disposal team travelled from their base at Wimbish to a field in Balkholme, Yorkshire, to detonate the unexploded device.

The operation was successfully carried out by 10 soldiers from the 33 Engineer Regiment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), just after noon on Friday.

The device, a 500lb general purpose bomb, was discovered in a field close to the M62 motorway in East Yorkshire on New Year's Eve.

Cpt Ives said: "If it stayed in the field undisturbed it would have presented little danger, but once discovered and more people knew about it, then there's the risk of it being disturbed further.

"We didn't know how stable it was

and so if someone came along it could become dangerous."

Since arriving at the scene on New Year's Eve, the unit had been working to plan the controlled explosion and reduce its effects by packing sand around the device to absorb the blast and reduces the fragmentation.

The operation meant a section of the M62 was closed and the surrounding area was cordoned off until the ordnance disposal experts from Carver Barracks had safely detonated the bomb.

"From our point of view it was all pretty straightforward," said Cpt Ives. "The police had the harder job, co-ordinating and closing the motorway.

"Although not exactly the norm, it is not unusual to come across these devices and we deal with a handful every year. Each one presents its own difficulties and challenges, which is what we as explosive ordnance disposal specialists are trained to deal with."

Every year in Britain, thousands of military explosives are unearthed by building work around the country and hundreds of items of ordnance turn up in gardens and the countryside discovered by members of the public.

The advice is to not touch anything which you think is suspicious and always ring the authorities for help.

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