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Residents spend third night away from home after unexploded WWII bomb detonated
28 February 2021, 20:35 | Updated: 1 March 2021, 06:25
Some of the thousands evacuated while the Royal Navy detonated an unexploded WWII in Exeter have had to spend a third night away from home.
Residents at around 2,600 properties, including 1,400 university students, were evacuated on Friday and Saturday while a large cordon was put in place to deal with the device.
The blast, which took place just after 6pm on Saturday, was described as "significant" by Devon and Cornwall Police and has left a crater the size of a double-decker bus.
Windows of nearby buildings were also left shattered and debris was thrown at least 250 metres away.
It is believed to be a 1,000kg "Hermann" bomb used by the Nazis and was discovered on a building site on private land to the west of the University of Exeter campus on Friday morning.
While officers and Exeter Council confirmed there was no public health risk due to the debris, those who live within the 100-metre cordon were told they cannot return home on Sunday evening.
But all other residents evacuated within a 400-metre radius began to return as of 6pm on Sunday.
Exeter University told the 1,400 students evacuated from their halls of residence, who are currently staying in alternative accommodation, that they could not return home either.
Tomorrow we expect that all academic buildings will be open. If you are scheduled to be on campus tomorrow for work or study, then you should plan to attend. We also anticipate that the Sports Park will open tomorrow and so if you have a COVID-19 test you should attend as planned— University of Exeter (@UniofExeter) February 28, 2021
Those who have had their work and study disrupted have been told they can apply for mitigation to avoid any damage to their grades due to the incident.
But the University confirmed that academic buildings will most likely reopen and asked students and staff to plan to attend lectures and work.
Devon County Council also confirmed on earlier this weekend that visiting friends and family was allowed in such circumstances - despite Covid-19 restrictions.