Shocking footage shows moment WW2 bomb detonated unexpectedly after three-day operation

11 February 2023, 00:51

Shocking footage shows the moment a wartime bomb exploded unexpectedly in Great Yarmouth while work was being done to defuse it.
Shocking footage shows the moment a wartime bomb exploded unexpectedly in Great Yarmouth while work was being done to defuse it. Picture: PA

By Chris Samuel

Shocking footage shows the moment a wartime bomb exploded unexpectedly in Great Yarmouth while work was being done to defuse it.

Cordons were put in place when the device was first found close to two gas pipes on Tuesday, and work started to make it safe.

A contractor working on the third crossing over the River Yare discovered the device, which was about 2ft long and weighed 250kg.

But on Friday afternoon, Norfolk police confirmed there had been an “unplanned” detonation while army specialists were trying to disarm it, but that no one was hurt.

Specialists had been cutting the WW2 bomb using a technique that creates a slow burn of the explosives.

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Shocking footage showed the moment it went off, as black smoke billowed up into the sky as apparent pieces of debris were flung skyward.

The force had warned there was a risk of an unintended detonation.

After the detonation, the Norfolk police said on Twitter: “We can confirm the unexploded World War II bomb in Great Yarmouth has detonated.

Second World War bomb explodes unexpectedly in Norfolk town

“This was not a planned detonation & happened during slow burn work to disarm the explosives.

“All army & emergency service personnel are accounted for. We will bring you further info when we have it.”

Earlier on Friday afternoon, the the team in charge of defusing it had abandoned attempts to cut through the device's outer casing, as water from the operation was destabilising the sand barrier built around the bomb.

A 400-metre cordon had been in place at the scene.

Norfolk Constabulary’s assistant chief constable Nick Davison said: “This has been a painstakingly long process, but public safety and that of the people involved in the operation has been at the heart of decision making.

“This was the final phase of a delicate operation which has caused much disruption in the town, but we’re hopeful this could be resolved soon and that cordons can be lifted, if everything goes to plan.”

A spokesperson for Cadent, which manages the local gas mains network, said: “Our team has carried out a close inspection of our pipes in the vicinity. There is no indication that the blast has caused damage to our assets, and gas continues to flow safely.”

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