Unexploded bomb diffused by army experts
PUBLISHED: 12:48 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 May 2010
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AN UNEXPLODED Second World War bomb has been safely defused by Saffron Walden army experts. A bomb disposal team from 33 Engineer Regiment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, was called into action last week. Team
AN UNEXPLODED Second World War bomb has been safely defused by Saffron Walden army experts.
A bomb disposal team from 33 Engineer Regiment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), based at the Carver Barracks in Wimbish, was called into action last week.
Team leader Major Matt Davies said: "We usually get about two or three calls a year to deal with Second World War bombs, but this was probably the largest unexploded device found in London for the last 30 years."
Construction workers discovered the 1000kg "Hermann" German bomb while clearing a site for the 2012 Olympic Games in Sugar House Lane, East London, on Monday June 2.
"The bomb was potentially very dangerous," said Major Davies. "People wrongly assume that because a device is more than 60 years old it will not go off, but this is not the case.
"The bomb was extremely sensitive had to be dealt with on site - it would have been too dangerous to carry across London."
The 1000kg war relic was picked up by a digger in a river that runs through the East London site and was deposited on the bank when the operator realised what he was carrying.
The Metropolitan police cordoned off the area and advised the local population of the find. The specialists from Saffron Walden arrived on the scene just before 3pm.
"The location of the bomb was a real concern," said Major Davies. "It was close to a train line, gas works and listed buildings.
"After identifying the device our first task was to construct a sand wall around it to absorb any of the fragments if it detonated."
The protective wall was completed by Wednesday evening. The next task was to immunise the fuse, a dangerous operation which, unusually, required two approaches by the bomb disposal officer. This was carried out throughout Wednesday night.
On Thursday the team cut two holes in the bomb and started to steam out the explosive. Once the explosive had been removed it was burnt and then a small controlled explosion was carried out on Friday to destroy the fuse and detonator.