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Communities thanked after WWII bomb blast

Communities in Great Yarmouth have been thanked for their patience and understanding following a four-day major incident which ending yesterday (Friday 10 February) with the explosion of a WWII bomb.

Agencies in Norfolk along with army bomb disposal experts had been working together since the discovery of the 250kg unexploded device on Tuesday (7 February) at the site of the third river crossing development off Southtown Road.

Yesterday afternoon, shortly after burn-out work started to disarm the remaining explosives, the device detonated, causing a large explosion.

No one was injured and damage was limited as a result of a protective sandbox built around the device to mitigate any blast radius in the event of an unintended detonation.

Debris has been cleared from Southtown Road and some minor repairs had to be carried out to the road surface. The road has now reopened meaning all cordons have now been lifted.

Checks have been made to the nearby tower crane, which is safe, and Environment Agency engineers will inspect the damaged river wall today, but initial assessments show the flood defence has not been compromised.

Last night, the major incident response was stood down and Great Yarmouth Borough Council Chief Executive Sheila Oxtoby thanked local communities for their patience and understanding.

She said: "This has been an unsettling time for many people, most of all for those who were evacuated from their homes. Safety of the public has been at the heart of decision making throughout this multi-agency operation. While it may have been slow, yesterday afternoon's events show why it was so important to take all necessary measures to minimise any risk to the public.

"As we often see in these types of incidents, our local communities have pulled together to support each other, following the advice emergency services and playing their part in keeping everyone safe.

"I'd like to thank everyone involved for bringing this to a safe conclusion and we will continue to help those residents displaced.

"Lastly, we appreciate the explosion and associated disruption could trigger anxiety for some people and we would encourage anyone in this position to reach out to your local wellbeing service who can be contacted on 0300 123 1503."

Last modified on 18 January 2024

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