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Major incident declared after suspected WWII bomb found in garden

A suspected bomb dating back to the Second World War has been found in a back garden in Plymouth, forcing residents to evacuate their homes.

Devon and Cornwall Police declared a major incident and evacuated properties within a 200m radius of the wartime explosive device on Tuesday.

The cordon was still in place on Wednesday morning, and Plymouth City Council has warned it will be extended in the coming days.

Officers were called at around 10.30am to a property on St Michael Avenue in Keyham after a man said he found the device while digging out the foundations for an extension in his garden.

Residents have been offered shelter at North Prospect Library and in local community centres, and have been advised to stay with friends or family nearby until the device has been dealt with.

The Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is at the scene.

Speaking to Plymouth Live, the man who called the police over the device, said “we actually found it about a week ago”.

“I hit something with a spade but we weren’t sure what it was at first,” he said.

“Since then we’ve had so much rain, the bank collapsed, then there was more rain on Friday and it’s been revealed more and more…

“By this point my wife said we really should just call the police and alert them. I took photos and sent them off and a sergeant in Exeter rang me… saying he needed to send them off to EOD.

“Five minutes later there’s a knock on the door and police officers asking to have a look. The next minute they’re suggesting a cordon.”

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Plymouth saw more than 50 bombing attacks during the Second World War, and in 2011 an explosive device was unearthed by a workman at a building in Notte Street, near the city’s Hoe.

The device was made safe before it was moved to the seabed off Plymouth Sound, with an exclusion zone around it.

In December, a Pembrokeshire couple gave up an ornament which turned out to be a missile dating back to between 1880 and 1890.

And in February last year, another Second World War bomb unexpectedly exploded in Norfolk. No one was hurt in the “unplanned” detonation.

Sky News Source