Plymouth unexploded bomb: Thousands affected as cordon extended

A major incident was also declared by the police after the bomb was found
A major incident was also declared by the police after the bomb was found

More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated two days after an unexploded World War Two bomb was discovered.

More than 3,000 people living in the area have since been asked to leave their homes and the council has opened up the Life Centre as a refuge for those who've been displaced.

A major incident was declared by police on 20 February after the device was found in a garden on St Michael Avenue in the Keyham area.

A critical incident for health has now been declared by NHS Devon as a 'precautionary measure'.

However, there is still no indication of how the military experts will dispose of the device more than 80 hours after the major incident was declared.

The cordon area was extended from 200m to 300m at 9am on Thursday 22 February Credit: ITV News

A spokesperson for NHS Devon said: "NHS Devon has declared a critical incident status for health in Devon.

"This is a precautionary action so the system can take the necessary steps in response to the unexploded bomb in Plymouth, which has been declared as a major incident led by the police.

"We are in Critical Incident at UHP [University Hospitals Plymouth] to support the system response to the major incident in the city and to reduce the pressure on our services.

The unexploded bomb was discovered in a back garden in the Keyham area.

"Declaring an internal critical incident allows us to make decisions behind the scenes to improve patient flow across the hospital.

"This can include the cancellation and rescheduling of certain planned operations based on clinical need."

More people are expected to be affected after the cordon area was extended from 200m to 300m on Thursday 22 February.

Plymouth City Council says the cordon is expected to be in place for at least 36 hours.

Residents were offered shelter at the nearby North Prospect Library and in local community centres, and have been advised to stay with friends or family nearby until further notice but not everybody has moved.

Paul Laity, an inspector at Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "It is their choice. They need to be made aware of the risks of staying and that's happened with door knocks and letter drops, but we cannot force people out of their homes.

"But they just need to understand there is risk to life and risk to property with an incident like this."