Thousands of Plymouth residents are sent EMERGENCY text alert ordering them leave as army disposes of bomb at SEA

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A ‘severe alert’ text message was sent today ordering thousands of Plymouth residents to leave their homes by 2pm before the start of a highly dangerous operation to remove an unexploded bomb from a family’s garden and drop it into the sea.

Emergency Situations at Plymouth

Hundreds of offices, shops and houses are being cleared in one of Britain’s largest peacetime evacuations before a hazardous mission that will see an Army convoy move the 500kg Second World War ordinance through the city’s streets. 

Experts decided the bomb – found by a father digging the foundations for his daughter’s new extension – would cause too much damage if they detonate it where it lies, potentially destroying multiple homes and risking lives.  

Instead, 1,200 properties have been cleared and a 300-metre cordon put in place so the explosive can be put on the back of a lorry and driven slowly through the narrow roads of the naval city this afternoon.

How The Bomb is Moved

It will then be placed on a boat via the Torpoint Ferry slipway in the city’s world famous Sound and dropped into the Channel and detonated once safely past Plymouth’s breakwater. 

Despite the blanket evacuation order text being sent to at least 3,250 people today, Devon and Cornwall Police have admitted they can’t ‘force’ people to leave their homes.

One local claiming to be inside the cordon has said he is staying in the bath while the bomb is removed. But a steady flow of people wheeling suitcases, shopping bags and pets have been seen leaving the area on foot today.

Others joked the mass evacuation was the perfect excuse to ‘go to the pub’ and described the experience as ‘very surreal’. 

As it is

Police said the Keyham neighbourhood will be locked down until at least 5pm when the bomb should be safely out to sea.

The gigantic bomb, dropped by Hitler’s Luftwaffe to target Plymouth nearby naval base and factories in the Blitz, was found by the father of a woman who was digging the foundations for his daughter’s new single-storey extension.

He says she only moved in two weeks ago and aerial pictures of the bomb show it lying on its side less than ten feet from her patio doors.

Well over 1,000 servicemen, police, coastguard and volunteers are involved in the operation. Locals have been told that Plymouth’s leisure centre can be used as an emergency bomb evacuation refuge. 

Others say they will stay in the area to watch the operation if they can – or spend the afternoon in pubs just outside the cordon.

A Russian tourist in Plymouth took to Instagram to show how one pub in the city is packed with locals. She then went for a stroll to Plymouth’s Hoe, which was completely deserted – seemingly oblivious to the bomb scare around two miles away.

A Plymouth City Council spokesman told residents: ‘The military advice is very clear and for your own safety, you need to leave your home and the area of the cordon by 2pm and we anticipate that you will be able to return by 5pm.’ 

Statement From Official

Supt Phil Williams of Devon & Cornwall Police said: ‘Over the last few days, our military colleagues have been assessing a device that was found in the garden of a property in Keyham.

‘They’ve reached a decision now after carrying out those assessments that they plan to move that device, rather than detonate in situ. That’s the least impactful option.

‘A new 300-metre cordon will be put in place and the bomb is going to be taken from the address down to a slipway near the Torpoint ferry where it will be taken out to sea and then safely disposed of.’

Supt Williams said the convoy was expected to take 20 minutes to travel from the property to the sea during the three hour operation between 2pm and 5pm. 

Alarmed homeowners had been told their homes could be blown up as disposal experts considered whether to detonate the device. 

Residents in three adjoining homes were given just one hour to empty their properties of all their treasured possessions as the four day Plymouth bomb emergency heads towards a climax.

A squad of 25 Royal Navy recruits plus soldiers and other residents joined forces to urgently fill three large removal vans provided by the council last night.

Who Found The Bomb?

The man who found the bomb as he was digging in his daughter’s back garden fears the property will be sacrificed as local worry insurance firms may not pay up to cover any damage.

On Thursday he told PlymouthLive: ‘Last night my daughter and her two neighbours were brought together for a meeting where they were effectively told to prepare that all three houses were going to be destroyed.

Before leaving, the dad took one last look at the bomb noting that ‘not a single sandbag has been put on it yet’.

The homeowner’s father,  who had discovered the bomb with a builder while digging for foundations in preparation for a house extension, fears the property will be sacrificed – leaving his daughter house hunting all over again.

He said: ‘She only lived in the house for a few weeks.

‘I’ve been helping out, doing DIY, sorted out a bedroom for her.

‘We got four rooms re-plastered and were working on the extension for the kitchen.

‘In all I think we’ve spent about £15,000 on refurbishing it.

‘So far, my call to the insurance company has been positive and they’ve said they will cover the cost, but I keep hearing people talk about a War Exclusion clause, which is what happened with the recent Exeter bomb case.

‘My hope is they will honour what they’ve said.’

The worried parent added that he has been told the EOD carried out x-ray scans of the bomb and sent the results to a bomb expert to analyse.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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