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Work continues to remove unexploded bomb (update)

The final phase of a delicate operation to disarm an unexploded Word War II bomb in Great Yarmouth is underway.

After reinforcing the protective sandbox surrounding the bomb, army specialists have revised the original plan to cut the bomb. They are now using a different tried and tested approach in order to bring this incident to a safe conclusion as soon as they can.

The army specialists will now use a technique that creates a slow burn of the explosives and burn off that material. As with other options, it does carry a risk of an unintended detonation, but this has been assessed by experts and this approach is seen as the best course of action. The sandbox and the evacuation zones that are in place work together to manage the risk to the public.  This work is taking place imminently.

While this happens people may see smoke coming from the site however environmental experts have confirmed there's no risk to public health. Once the slow burn concludes a period of time is required for the location to cool. The army specialists will then assess whether it has been successful and inform local services of the outcome and whether it has been successful or not.

If fully successful it is anticipated that cordons will be reduced or fully lifted. However, it is stressed that until the army confirm it has worked and that all explosive material has gone the cordons are an integral part of the plan to keep the public safe and need to remain.

Since the device was found at the site at the third river crossing on Tuesday morning (7 February) agencies in Norfolk and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team have been working together to safely disarm the device.

Today bomb disposal experts have been repairing the sand box barrier put in place to mitigate any unintended detonation. It had been partially weakened as a result of cutting work involving the use of water. 

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: "This has been a painstakingly long process but public safety and that of the people involved in the operation has been at the heart of decision making.

"This the final phase of a delicate operation which has cause much disruption in the town, but we're hopeful this could be resolved soon and that cordons can be lifted, if everything goes to plan."

Last modified on 31 January 2024

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