Plymouth major incident: Homes evacuated after suspected bomb found

  • A major incident was declared after the discovery was made, as Richard Lawrence reports.

Homes in the Keyham area of Plymouth have been evacuated after a suspected World War Two bomb was discovered.

Devon and Cornwall Police officers were alerted to reports of possible ordnance being found in a garden at around 10.30am on Tuesday 20 February.

It's thought around 1,000 people living in the area have been forced to leave their homes after the object was discovered on St Michaels Avenue.

A major incident was declared on Tuesday and remains in place today (21 February).

The bomb was found when people were digging foundations for an extension. Credit: FPS Images

Plymouth City Council said the cordon was likely to be extended in the coming days.

"The cordon will be extended in the coming days, as ordnance disposal experts begin to work to make the unexploded wartime device safe, which we acknowledge will have a significant impact. Further information will be shared when it is confirmed.

"Residents who feel the need to collect pets or medicine are advised to approach police officers at the cordon.

Police were alerted to reports of a possible bomb at 10.36am on Tuesday 20 February.

"In the event of medical issues, residents can contact 111 or, in an emergency, 999.

"This is an ongoing incident and as a result, we are expecting a significant knock-on effect for the city's roads. A number of bus routes will also be suspended.

"We would advise not travelling in the area unless it is absolutely necessary."

Devonport Local Policing Team said anyone who needs shelter following the evacuation can visit North Prospect Library. 

Speaking to ITV West Country at 6pm on Tuesday 20 February, Chief Superintendent Matt Longman said: "We don’t know exactly what we’ve got, and to get the experts we need to make that assessment it takes time which will be frustrating for some people."