Properties left heavily damaged after WW2 bomb detonated in Exeter

Watch Bob Cruwys' report

The controlled detonation of a Second World War bomb has heavily damaged properties in Exeter.

The explosion left some houses with windows blown-out and doors knocked off their hinges.

One resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, took photographs of the destruction showing mud over the decking and broken door frames but he feels it could have been worse.

He said: "We weren't the worst hit, the others right next to the area suffered the most.

"But, still, it's not nice to come home and see your house broken like this."

Doors were taken off their hinges by the explosion and door frames were left hanging. Credit: BPM Media

Homes and university accommodation were evacuated after the discovery of the Second World War bomb at a building site on Glenthorne Road on Friday.

A 100-metre exclusion zone was set up around the bomb and the resident had to sleep in his car for two nights after he was denied access to his home.

He said: "By 5pm on Friday evening, we didn't hear from anyone so we went to go back (home), we thought it would just be for the day.

"Spent the night in the car, thought 'to hell with that', and Saturday morning tried to go back again."

The resident tried to access their home but were only allowed to pick up essential items before being told by the council that hotel rooms would be offered as alternative accommodation.

Other properties in the area have also been damaged after a controlled explosion was carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police and the Ministry of Defence.

The resident returned home to find doors and windows had been blown-out by the blast Credit: BPM Media

He says he is disappointed with the way the evacuation was handled and was concerned about how Covid-compliant the hotels would be given that crowds of people would all gather in them.

He said: "I realise this is an emergency, but surely when they realised there was no imminent danger, they could have closed everything off and evacuated us after 72 hours - to let people find accommodation, turn off the gas and everything.

"They should have let people move out in a safe pace. Going to hotels, you do not know how Covid-proof they are.

"And it's not normal times - you can't go off and have a sandwich and a pint."

People who live within 100 metres of the bomb are still unable to return to their homes but those outside of that range now can.

Doors were left hanging from their hinges after being damaged from the explosion vacuum Credit: BPM Media

In a statement made on Sunday 28 February, Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Extensive, multi-agency building assessment work is continuing this morning within the 400-metre cordon of the WW2 bomb detonation site on Glenthorne Road, Exeter.

"Every effort is being made to ensure the timely conclusion of the assessments in the hope some evacuated residents may be able to return home this evening.

"However, evacuated residents are advised to work on a worst-case scenario basis, that they will not be able to return home this evening.

"The council has confirmed that those already in hotel accommodation will be able to stay in their hotels tonight if necessary.

"The council helpline is open until 5pm today for any evacuated residents needing support or advice: 0345 155 1015."

Read more: