Explosion as bomb disposal teams destroy 60 home-made WW2 grenades in Quinton, Northamptonshire

  • ITV News Anglia was on the scene as the explosion rocked the quiet village

Bomb disposal experts have carried out a controlled explosion in a village where dozens of World War Two grenades were discovered in a garden by builders.

ITV News Anglia was on the scene as the explosion rocked the quiet village of Quinton in Northamptonshire, with a plume of smoke seen rising through the trees.

Some 60 home-made incendiary devices were found in the garden of a house on Monday, since when army explosives experts have been working on making them safe.

Residents have been evacuated from 20 homes nearby each day, with most allowed to return at night.

The detonation happened at 12.30pm on Wednesday with residents told to retreat to a 100m cordon or keep doors and windows shut.

Emergency services have been at the scene for three days Credit: Aperture Northampton

Alasdair Fraser of Northamptonshire Police detailed to ITV News Anglia the dangers that the teams were facing.

“They’re quite volatile, they're still live, they catch fire, people can get burned," he said.

"Phosphorus and benzine are properties within these devices, and they're still live, so it's been taken with a lot of care.” 

He praised the understanding of residents, many of whom have been moved out of their homes for the third day in a row. Two households were offered alternative accommodation because of the ongoing operation.

“The residents have been really fabulous," said Mr Fraser.

More than 20 homes in School Lane were evacuated on Monday and again on Tuesday. Credit: Aperture Northampton

"They've moved out during the day so we can conduct operations and then we've moved them back safely at night when we've been able to put the items within a skip and hopefully we'll be able to get them back [Wednesday] afternoon back into the houses.”

The grenades are not an unusual find in Britain, say experts.

They were made for use as a last-ditch defence effort during World War Two, in case enemy forces made it on to home soil.

Three-day operation continues

Bomb disposal teams first arrived in the village on Monday after the grenades were found in the garden of a house in School Lane.

Builders had reported a "noxious gas" seeping from underground and police were called.

Members of the Army's explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team worked until 10.30pm on Monday making the devices safe, but then had to stop work because of the poor light conditions.

They returned on Tuesday and spent another full day working on the haul of explosives.

A meeting was due to be held on Tuesday evening so that residents could be briefed on the operation and ask questions of the authorities involved.