Homes in Great Yarmouth evacuated overnight as Second World War bomb find sparks major incident

  • Residents Peter Watson and Tony Weymouth were at the cordon

People living in a seaside town have been told they should not return to their homes overnight as streets remain cordoned off following the discovery of an unexploded device.

A 400-metre perimeter has been set up in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk after the Second World War device was found at about 11.30am on Tuesday by a contractor working on construction of a new bridge.

Shortly before 11pm, Norfolk Police declared a major incident and said the cordon was likely to remain in place for another 24 hours.

Bomb disposal teams are working on the device, they said.

The bomb was discovered during dredging work in the River Yare at Bollard Quay close to the junction with Boundary Road, as part of works for the third river crossing in the town.

People within the cordon were "strongly advised" to leave their homes and businesses while bomb disposal experts work on the device.

Two rest centres have been set up so that people who cannot stay with family and friends can seek refuge at St George's Theatre in King Street, or MESH Shrublands Youth Centre in Gorleston.

The device was discovered during dredging works. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Local policing commander Chief Inspector Matt Dyson said: “Our priority will always be the safety of the public and we’re working alongside our partners and taking advice from army experts around cordons while work continues to safely resolve the incident.

“We appreciate the measures put in place for people’s safety will cause some disruption however public safety is paramount and we would advise people these restrictions will be in place overnight and into tomorrow.

“Rest centres have been opened and officers along with staff from the borough council are visiting homes to check and identify any vulnerable people who need assistance.”

Norfolk police have also shut the following roads and said they would be closed into Wednesday:

  • Southtown Road – closed from its junction with Tollgate Road all the way to Beccles Road;

  • Litchfield Road, off Southtown Road, is partially closed;

  • Williams Adam Way, off Southtown Road, is closed;

  • Boundary Road, off Southtown Road, is partially closed;

  • Tollgate Road, off Southtown Road, is closed.

Officers are asking pedestrians and motorists to avoid the area.

  • An emergency helpline - 01493 330369 - has been set up for people who need help with evacuation from the exclusion zone.

Police have advised people living within the cordon to leave their homes and businesses. Credit: ITV News Anglia

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