Thousands evacuated in Plymouth as army to move WW2 bomb through city and detonate it at sea


Thousands of people have been evacuated while bomb disposal experts attempt to safely remove an unexploded World War Two bomb in a 20-minute military convoy before destroying it out at sea, Paralel.Az reports citing Independent.

Residents living within 300 metres of the scene in St Michael Avenue, Plymouth were urged to leave their homes on Wednesday as Army and Navy soldiers decided how to safely remove the device and dispose of it outside the breakwater off the coast.

And on Friday Plymouth council ordered more people to leave for three hours from 2 pm, while soldiers transport the unexploded bomb towards the Torpoint Ferry slipway.

It is estimated around 3,000 locals from 1,200 homes will be affected by the new cordon.

A Government alert briefly interrupted a police press update on the operation warning locals about the operation.

Superintendent Phil Williams told reporters: “As it stands we haven’t forced anyone from their homes we can only urge them to and offer them the best advice.

“There is obviously an element of risk that has been assessed by the army which has deemed [this strategy] the lowest risk.”

Residents said they had received a “severe alert” Government message on their phone warning them to stay away from the route of the disposal convoy until 5pm.

A Plymouth council spokesman said: “In order for this to happen, we need support from residents in the area along the route.

“Anyone who lives within 300 metres of the route will need to leave their homes TODAY for about three hours. You will need to leave your home by 2pm and we anticipate you will be able to return by 5 pm.

“The rest centre at the Life Centre remains open to support people who do not have anywhere to go.”

He added: “In addition, the main train line will be closed, ferries (including the Torpoint Ferry) will be suspended and buses will be diverted.

“Once the operation is complete, the police will begin to reopen the roads.

“Everyone must avoid the area during this period.

“We are very grateful for the patience of residents at this difficult time and all agencies are doing everything they can to minimise any ongoing disruption. We will aim to keep residents informed throughout the operation.”

The man who discovered the bomb told Plymouth Live he was helping prepare the groundwork in the back garden of his daughter’s property for an extension when he found it.

One resident added: “We’ve been told to leave our homes - all the residents in St Aubyn Avenue. Police are out knocking on doors telling people there’s been a bomb found. They’ve closed off the lane behind our road. Apparently, it’s an old Second World War bomb.”

Plymouth City Council’s leader Tudor Evans said everyone involved in the response to the World War Two bomb’s discovery in Keyham has been “extraordinary”.

He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the incident has brought out the “best” in Plymouth.

Mr Evans said: “Extraordinary work by our @plymouthcc staff throughout the night, supporting residents and planning for today. Public service at its very best.

“They’re invested. They feel it. They are friends and neighbours too.”