Footage Shows World War II-Era Bomb Explode In England Amid Attempt To Defuse It

[Screenshot/YouTube/Guardian News]

Font Size:

A four-day attempt to diffuse a World War II-era bomb found in England ended in dramatic fashion Friday when the bomb detonated, throwing a large plume of debris into the air.

“I and some fellow journalists had been asked to gather at the police station for an update on the bomb being defused when suddenly, at around 5:00pm, we heard this very loud and very unexpected explosion,” BBC journalist Alex Dunlop stated of the detonation.

The 1 meter long device was discovered next to two gas pipes by a contractor who was working on a new bridge over the Yare River in Great Yarmouth Tuesday. Crews immediately cordoned off the area and police ordered the evacuation of 230 buildings in the area, the BBC reported. (RELATED: Authorities Forced To Shut Down Roads Near Gettysburg Site After Someone Found An Unexploded Artillery Shell)

Officials then built a sand wall around the unexploded bomb to limit damage to surrounding structures during a planned controlled detonation on Thursday. That detonation, however, was called off when the water needed to assist a robot in cutting  the bomb’s fuse damaged the integrity of the protective sand wall, the outlet stated.

After repairing and strengthening the sand wall, work resumed to safely defuse the bomb, only for it to explode. No one was injured in the blast.

“The approach had been the safest option to disarm the device. However, it always carried a risk of unintended detonation. Thankfully, all personnel have been accounted for and agencies are coming together to assess damage to the river wall,” Norfolk’s assistant chief constable, Nick Davison told BBC.

Area commander, Supt. Nathan Clark echoed Davison’s assessment that an unintended explosion was “always a possibility” but the preventative measures officials took, including the sand barriers, appeared to have done their job.

“If you imagine what that explosion would have looked like without that [mitigation] it really would have been a catastrophe, a 250kg bomb. We knew if that was detonated it would have caused serious damage and threat to life and that is why the military, in partnership with Norfolk public services, have done what they’ve done,” Clark told the outlet.

Agencies have “assessed the damage caused by the explosion with a number of car windows broken, the top of the scaffolding on the bridge affected and some damage to the flood wall,” the outlet stated.

“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,” a spokesman for the gas company told the outlet.