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WWII German bomb destroyed in open water

A controlled explosion took place at 4pm today off the coast of the Isle of Wight Credit: Royal Navy

A German 500lb bomb found in Portsmouth Harbour has been destroyed by Royal Navy bomb disposal experts.

The WWII device was found at 5am this morning by a barge dredging the harbour ahead of the arrival next spring of HMS Queen Elizabeth – the Royal Navy’s new 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier.

The bomb was towed out to open waters 1.5 miles east of the Isle of Wight where a controlled explosion took place at 4pm today.

“This is the third piece of historic ordnance found in the harbour during the dredging works since September. We worked closely with Hampshire Police and Portsmouth City Council to ensure we dealt with this incident in the safest way possible, at the same time causing least disruption to the city.”

– Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant

“Everything went smoothly and we were pleased to be able to get the operation completed in daylight today. Despite being old, these devices still pose a very serious threat when they are moved.”

– Commander Del McKnight

Pictures: WWII bomb found at Portsmouth Harbour

This WWII bomb was discovered at Portsmouth Harbour Credit: @VAdmJWoodcock

Hampshire Police have confirmed a WWII German bomb found at Portsmouth Harbour has been safely towed away from the harbour.

A cordon placed around Gunwharf and Old Portsmouth has been lifted - meaning shoppers and residents can return to the area.

The bomb is expected to be blown up at some point over the next 24 hours.

This WWII bomb was discovered at Portsmouth Harbour Credit: @VAdmJWoodcock

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Gunwharf Quays evacuated

Gunwharf Quays has been evacuated this morning following the discovery of a WWII German bomb.

A spokesperson for the shopping centre has confirmed that the area has been cleared temporarily.

Police are warning members of the public to avoid the area.

Those evacuated from the area will be directed to the John Pound Centre, in Queen Street, one of two rest centres set up. The other is at Portsmouth Cathedral.

The 300m cordon will also require other areas to be evacuated, including the Wight Link terminal, Old Portsmouth, Portsmouth Harbour station, Gosport ferry station and the Hot Walls areas.

Portsmouth ferry port to temporarily re-open after discovery of WWII bomb

The ferry port has been temporarily re-opened Credit: ITV Meridian

A WWII German bomb found in Portsmouth Harbour has now been safely moved further into the harbour to allow the continental port to temporarily re-open.

The plan is to tow the device out of the harbour later today when tidal conditions permit.

"An unexploded ordinance was discovered in Portsmouth Port this morning and is currently being dealt with by a specialist explosives team. For safety reasons, a 500 metre exclusion zone has been imposed on the area surrounding the device, which is affecting the North harbour and all operations into the Commercial Ferry Port.

"In common with other ferries waiting to berth in Portsmouth, Condor has been waiting instructions from Queen's Harbour Master who controls Portsmouth Harbour and holding outside Portsmouth Port until cleared to enter the port.

"Shortly before 11am, Commodore Clipper was cleared to enter the port and is making her way to the berth where the 94 passengers aboard will be able to disembark. Condor has been looking after all passengers on board and keeping them up-to-date on the situation.

"We apologise for the inconvenience this delay (which is beyond our control) has caused to our freight customers and passengers."

– Statement from Condor Ferries

Ferry passenger speaks of shock over discovery of WWII bomb

A ferry passenger has told Meridian how shocked everyone was when a WWII German bomb was discovered in Portsmouth - delaying their journey into the harbour.

Zoe Grisedale is on a Brittany Ferry travelling back from Caen in Normandy, which has been stopped following the discovery.

Zoe spoke to ITV Meridian via Skype.

The device is to be blown up in the sea off the coast later today.

Currently cross-channel ferries can't enter or leave Portsmouth. A spokesperson for Portsmouth Naval Base says they are working with Hampshire Police to minimise disruption.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to be closed all day after discovery of WWII bomb

A WWII German bomb, found in Portsmouth Harbour is to be destroyed.

The device was found at 5am this morning by a barge dredging the harbour ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next spring – the Royal Navy’s new 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier.

A 500-metre cordon is in place around the barge as a precaution. As a result cross-channel ferries can't currently leave or enter Portsmouth continental ferry port.

Plans are in place to move the device to allow the ferries access to the port.

"This is the third piece of historic ordnance found in the harbour during the dredging works since September. Again we are working with Hampshire Police to ensure we deal with this incident in the safest way possible, at the same time causing least disruption to the city.”

– Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant

Some Naval Base employees have been moved to buildings outside the cordon. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is closed all day.

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts have inspected the device and a plan is in place to tow it out of the harbour and destroy it in open waters off the eastern Isle of Wight.

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Unexploded bomb found at Portsmouth Harbour

An unexploded wartime bomb has been found at Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire. It is believed the device dates back to World War Two. It was discovered yesterday afternoon, a few hundred metres away from the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the home of the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy made arrangements to tow the device out to open water and detonate it in a controlled explosion this morning. In the meantime ferry and rail services in the area were disrupted for reasons of public safety.

A spokesperson from Wightlink ferries said the firm's scheduled sailings between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight had been affected.

"The discovery of an unexploded bomb in Portsmouth Harbour overnight delayed some of Wightlink Ferries' early sailings this morning.

"The port was closed to all vessels at 05:00 as the Royal Navy prepared to tow the device out of harbour to carry out a controlled explosion in a safe area.

"The 06:00 car ferry sailing from Portsmouth Gunwharf and 07:00 from Fishbourne were cancelled along with the 06:15 catamaran from Portsmouth Harbour and 06:47 from Ryde Pier Head."

– Spokesperson, Wightlink

The port reopened at 6.30am, and services have started again, but passengers are warned that there may be delays.

TRAVEL - TRAINS: Delays between Portsmouth Harbour & Hilsea

TRAVEL - TRAINS: HAMPSHIRE - Fareham / Portsmouth Harbour

Service suspended on South West Trains between Southampton Central and Fareham due to broken down freight train between Swanwick and Fareham. Coast-bound services are affected. Also affecting Southern and First Great Western.

A rail shuttle is running Fareham to Portsmouth Harbour, and a replacement bus service will call at all stations inbetween. Extending Journey's by up to 30 minutes.