Bomb at British Beach Sparks Evacuation, Reality Surprises Disposal Team

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
May 20, 2019 Updated: May 20, 2019

An undetonated bomb was reportedly found at a British beach on May 19, sparking an evacuation. Authorities were planning a controlled explosion at low tide on Monday evening, but upon inspection, it turned out to an empty casing.

Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard, a section of the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency received a call at 8:50 p.m. reporting an unexploded shell at Beachy Head “halfway between Belle Tout Lighthouse and Belle Tout layby,” according to a press release by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

“The photographs were immediately sent to the EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) team.   The shell is approximately 3 inches wide and 12 inches long,” said the release.

HM Coastguard advised the public to remain away from the site. “Eastbourne and Birling Gap Coastguard Rescue Teams have set up a cordon around the ordinance restricting public access as a precautionary measure,” said the release.

After the site was closed for hours, the investigators finally found the shell casing to be empty.

“The EOD team have inspected the device again and declared it a safe empty metal casing – no detonation will be happening.  The cordon has been lifted,” said the updated release.

Unexploded Bombs from World War II

In a similar incidence reported last year, an undetonated World War II bomb discovered near the London City Airport was exploded under controlled conditions, reported the BBC.

Since 2010 until early 2018, British Ministry of Defense said it was tasked to deal with 450 German WWII bombs, and such explosives continue to be discovered around the United Kingdom. The Ministry of Defence told BBC Reality Check that about 10 percent of the bombs dropped over the country during the war didn’t explode.

Most of these explosives are found buried deep and are often discovered by construction workers. They are disposed off by the military. However, private companies run by ex-military individuals also provide these services.

Another beach in the country was closed last week after a metal detector found a suspected World War II bomb at low tide, said a release by ZeticaUXO, a private company that provides explosive disposal services.

“A member of the public was metal detecting at Broadsands Beach at Paignton when he found the rusting 7in to 8in long object,” said the release.

In another discovery reported by ZeticaUXO, a WWII mortar was disposed off at Bliston. “The controlled explosion was carried out on what looked like a building site at around 8.30pm on the 16th May,” the media release said.

A typical World War II bomb weighed 110 pounds (50 kgs) or 551 pounds (250 kgs). Larger bombs were 1102 pounds (500 kgs) or 2204 pounds (1000 kgs), according to the BBC.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya
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