Plymouth bomb: Drone captures moment WW2 explosive extracted from garden

  • Watch as the 500kg explosive was extracted before being taken out to sea to be detonated.

New drone footage shows a Second World War bomb being extracted from a garden in Plymouth before it was taken out to sea to be detonated.

The 500kg explosive was discovered in a back garden on Tuesday and prompted “one of the largest UK peacetime evacuation operations”, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Around 30 of the armed forces’ most experienced bomb disposal specialists had worked around the clock to assess the condition of the device since it was discovered in a garden in St Michael Avenue in the Keyham area.

The footage from Devon and Cornwall Police shows the explosive being extracted from the garden.

It shows specialists using a machine to lift the explosive out of the garden before a military convoy carried it on the back of a truck through a densely populated residential area to Torpoint Ferry slipway, where it was taken out to sea.

Around 10,320 people and 1,219 properties were affected by the 300m cordon placed along the route.

A military vehicle at the scene near St Michael Avenue on Friday morning.

The MoD said the munition, identified as an air-dropped German bomb from the Second World War – designated SC-500 – was assessed as posing a significant risk to public safety with people living within the cordon evacuated.

More than 100 personnel from the British Army and Royal Navy, including bomb disposal experts, were involved in the complex operation along with Plymouth City Council officials, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Cornwall Police and members of the armed forces, to ensure the device was removed and people were safe.

Lt Colonel Rob Swan, who was at the scene, explained before the detonation that the bomb would be taken to a depth of at least 14 metres before a diver would place a donor charge on the bomb to ignite the explosive.

On Friday at 5.32pm, town hall chiefs declared the operation a “success” telling residents “you can now return to your homes in Keyham”.

Tudor Evans, the leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “I think it is fair to say that the last few days will go down in history for Plymouth.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps thanked the personnel who had been involved in the “highly complex operation”.

Mr Shapps said: “I would like to express my thanks to all our personnel involved in this highly complex operation, who worked both night and day this week to keep the public safe and minimise the risk of damage, as well as the public for their patience and cooperation.

“The success of this operation is testament to the level of skill and expertise across our armed forces, as well as the bravery and fortitude of our personnel when faced with high-risk situations and working under extreme pressure.”

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