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Work about to start on unexploded device in Great Yarmouth

Work to carry out a controlled explosion on the Second World War device in Great Yarmouth is due to recommence shortly after complications halted progress overnight.

The device in Bollard Quay is in a hazardous location with two main gas pipes running along Southtown Road - near the bomb.

Following advice from experts, the risks have now been assessed and are considered low so work to cut into the bomb will recommence shortly.

Norfolk Constabulary's Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison and the Chair of the Strategic Co-ordinating Group set up through Norfolk's Local Resilience Forum, said: "Throughout this entire operation we are taking the advice of experts from the EOD on the safest option to disarm this bomb and return to normality.

"Following detailed analysis from experts, the risk of pipes being ruptured, should there be a full detonation, has been deemed high unlikely. The Norfolk Resilience Forum's Strategic Coordination Group has therefore agreed for EOD to continue with their plan to make the bomb safe. While highly unlikely that the worst happens, contingencies are in place with appropriate resources and experts on standby during the next phase of the operation.

"On behalf of all the agencies working together to bring about a safe resolution, I would like to repeat my thanks to the public in Great Yarmouth for their understanding and resilience. We know this is disrupting people's lives and all agencies are working very hard to resolve this as soon as we can but with safety and preservation of life at the heart of what we're doing."

The device, which is currently surrounded by a sand bank, measures about a metre long, weighs 250kg and is unsafe to move in its current state.

A 400-metre cordon remains in place at the scene. The cordon has been split into two zones and includes a strict 200-metre inner cordon where people are prohibited from entering and must leave. Anyone living in the outer cordon (200-400 metres) is strongly advised to evacuate.

A no-fly zone remains in place in the immediate vicinity of the device until further notice.

Rest centres remain open at:

  • St George's Theatre in King Street, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2PG
  • Mesh, Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre, Magdalen Way, Gorleston, NR31 7BP

Road closures are in place at:

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.

An emergency helpline for people who require assistance with evacuation from the exclusion zone is also still available. This helpline is 01493 330369 and should not be used for general advice.

Last modified on 10 January 2024

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