Youths find unexploded Second World War bomb in river
By Catherine Bolado and Harry Hogger:
YOUNGSTERS playing in a Dorset river had a shock when they discovered a Second World War shell.The army bomb squad and Dorset Police were called to Greys Bridge on London Road, Dorchester on Wednesday night.The device, a Second World War shell, was found in the riverbed by a 13-year-old boy playing in the water.Police sealed off the area and the army bomb disposal team exploded the shell in a controlled detonation after it was removed to a nearby field.There were a number of youngsters in the area enjoying the evening sunshine when the device was discovered.
One youth, who did not wish to be named, said: “The police got everyone clear of the park and the road and set up a cordon round it.”
His friend added: “All they did was put some cones round it and we watched them dig a hole so they could explode it.
“It looked like a plastic bottle.”
They said when the police carried out the explosion the blast reached the height of the nearby houses in Kings Road. Photographer Andrew Murray, 57, of London Road, captured the whole event on film. He said the initial explosion from the shell reached 20 feet into the air. He said: “I looked out of my window and saw the bomb squad lorry out there, earlier I saw a policeman in the field and saw some kids sitting on the bridge. “The police said they had found ordnance in the river and were waiting for the bomb squad.”
Police cordoned off the area and asked the pubic to stand back 200 metres while the bomb team exploded the shell. Mr Murray said: “It was a very loud bang, louder than a gun shot. It was like a very loud firework. “The initial explosion rose 20 feet in the air. “Then about 30 minutes later they let people back onto the side of the road nearest the bomb site.” He added: “It was quite exciting. The police who were there were very informative. There wasn’t any panic, there was just a bit of excitement on London Road.
“They said that it was a 6lb bomb from Second World War.”
The Hodgkiss shell is a type of cast iron explosive shell used in machine guns on the First and Second World Wars.
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “We received a call at 4.25pm on Wednesday to say a 13-year old boy had found a large bullet type object on the river bed at Greys Bridge in Dorchester. It was described as being eight to ten inches long, black and with ridges at the bottom.
“Officers attended and a picture of the object was sent to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. They told us to put a cordon up around the object.
“The disposal unit attended at 7.30pm.”