United Kingdom

Thousands of residents are evacuated overnight in Exeter after discovery of unexploded WW2 bomb

Thousands of residents have been evacuated overnight from more than 2,600 homes in Exeter after the discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb. 

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed a 400-yard cordon was in place, with properties evacuated for the examination of the device, which was located at a site on Glenthorne Road on Friday morning.

The device was found on a building site on private land to the west of the University of Exeter campus. 

Students and residents who live within a 400-yard cordon have been evacuated by the local emergency services after the discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb

Properties were evacuated for the examination of the device (pictured above), which was located at a site on Glenthorne Road near Exeter University on Friday morning

An initial 100-yard cordon was put in place, with evacuations taking place on Friday evening and Saturday morning. 

The evacuations were at the request of the Royal Navy bomb disposal team, who worked through the night to establish a walled mitigation structure.

Around 200 students were vacated by emergency services from one of the university halls, alongside a nearby care home and residents. 

The device itself has been described as around eight feet long and 27 inches across. 

A police spokesman said: 'The examination and detonation of the device has been passed to the Army.

'Examination of the device is due to commence at 10am and could take several hours.'

Police, fire services, coastguards and 4X4 response teams, along with the local council, have been knocking on doors and halls of residence around the city centre 

Locals pictured being evacuated. A police spokesman said examination of the device is set to commence at 10am and 'could take several hours'

The evacuations were at the request of the Royal Navy bomb disposal team, who worked through the night to establish a walled mitigation structure

Police Inspector Sean Roper previously said the situation would take some time to resolve because of the size of the bomb, which could not be disposed of like smaller devices. 

It is hoped the work will be completed by the end of Saturday. 

Road closures have been put in place between Cowley Bridge and Exe Bridges, with diversions in place and motorists advised to avoid the area.

The force spokesman added: 'Residents should be reassured that military, police and partners are working to maintain public safety.

'Exemptions in Covid-19 social distancing rules exist for matters of public safety such as this.'

Local emergency services pictured today. Road closures have been put in place between Cowley Bridge and Exe Bridges, with motorists advised to avoid the area

The mass evacuation underway this morning, with mountain rescue vehicles and a road closure sign in place. Diversions are also in place

A police van seen near Exeter University yesterday morning, when the unexploded device was discovered on private land to the west of the campus

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