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WWII bomb found in English city of Plymouth to be disposed of at sea

  • An unexploded World War II bomb found in Plymouth will be transported by a military convoy on Friday for disposal at sea.
  • The bomb was discovered in a residential yard and is considered too risky to detonate on-site due to potential significant damage to houses.
  • Devon and Cornwall Police announced the evacuation of over 3,000 people from their homes along the convoy route.

An unexploded World War II bomb is to be transported Friday through the southwestern English city of Plymouth by a military convoy and disposed of at sea.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the bomb, which was found in a residential yard on Tuesday, will be taken to the Torpoint Ferry slipway to be disposed of at sea beyond the breakwater.

More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and those living in the vicinity of the route being taken by the convoy should leave their homes, too. The journey is expected to take around 20 minutes.

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The decision to move the bomb was taken after an assessment by bomb disposal experts concluded that there would be too high a risk of significant damage, including the destruction of a number of houses, if the device were detonated in the yard.

Plymouth emergency workers

Emergency workers gather near the Torpoint Ferry crossing in Plymouth as preparations are made to transport a World War II bomb discovered in the Keyham area. The bomb will be taken by military convoy to the Torpoint Ferry slipway for disposal at sea. (Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

“That’s the least impactful option,” Superintendent Phil Williams said. “There’s obviously an element of risk and it’s been assessed by the army and deemed this is the lowest risk.”

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The hope is that those affected by the cordon should be able to return home by 5 p.m. on Friday.

The main train line into the city will be closed as it travels through the cordon, while ferries will be suspended and buses will be diverted. Schools and nurseries have also closed to allow the operation to take place, while all businesses within the cordon have been told to evacuate.

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