Local Coastguard teams among those supporting bomb detonation in Exeter

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Local Coastguard teams among those supporting bomb detonation in Exeter

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Coastguard teams from the South Hams helped support emergency services after a bomb was discovered in Exeter. 

Rescue teams from Dartmouth and Ashburton were among those working across the weekend to assist in what was declared a "major incident" in Exeter. 

HM Coastguard received a call from Devon and Cornwall Police on Friday, February 26, after a piece of Second World War ordnance was found in Glenthorne Road, Exeter.

In order for the Royal Logistics Corp ordnance disposal team to detonate what was thought to be a 1,000kg Hermann bomb, 2,600 properties, in a 400m radius from the site - including 1,400 University of Exeter students - had to be evacuated. 

Coastguard rescue officers worked with staff and volunteers from other organisations to door-knock and post leaflets, ensuring everyone was aware they would need to leave their homes by 8am on Saturday, for a planned detonation at 6pm that evening. A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "They worked through the night and into the early hours of the morning, after resting they were back at first light continuing to evacuate the area before carrying out road closures and keeping the cordon secure into Sunday afternoon."

Drew Parkinson, Coastal Operations Area Commander for HM Coastguard said: "We are fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers and staff within HM Coastguard who are willing to drop whatever they are doing at a moment’s notice to use their training and expertise to help those in need, be that at incidents around the coast or when our partner emergency services require assistance.

"To all the officers who worked phenomenally hard this weekend, with over 1,000 individual hours worked in Exeter alone – thank you."

We are fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers and staff within HM Coastguard who are willing to drop whatever they are doing at a moment’s notice to use their training and expertise to help those in need, be that at incidents around the coast or when our partner emergency services require assistance.

Despite detonating the device under around 400 tons of sand, a number of properties within around a 100m zone sustained damage from the blast, but no one was injured. 

Photo credit: Exeter City Council 

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