BombRisk Update - Don't drive your mortar to the police (and other useful tips!)


Brrrr!  It’s December – and time for another BombRisk update.  This month we’ve already had two weather bombs (but BombRisk isn’t about that kind of bomb) – so how are things looking on the unexploded ordnance (UXO) front?

Well, this month doesn’t fail to impress – from a bomb in a car to a bomb in a skip – it seems there’s far more UXO in existence than common sense.

What’s the mortar with you?

I don’t know about you – but if I was going to throw some rubbish in a skip, the last thing on my mind would be that the skip spontaneously explodes.  However, after my eyes happened upon this news-piece, I will be forever cursed with the fear of perishing in a rubbish-laced explosion if I get too near a trash receptacle!

It was on the 7th of December that the unfortunate team at Muk Tubs Skip Hire happened upon not one, not two, but THREE unexploded mortars in one of their skips.  They promptly contacted the local authorities.

The three mortars caused several streets and the Sheffield to Chesterfield railway line to close – likely leading to a lot of grumbling and swear-bombs from disgruntled passengers (BombRisk isn’t about those types of bombs either).

Anyway, we have just one question for the person who decided to foolishly throw three mortars in a skipwhat’s the mortar with you?  Call the police next time, PLEASE.

A motorway became a mortarway!

If you find UXO, here’s what you should do: stand at least 100m away ideally and immediately call the police.  

What you should not do is pick it up, put it in your car and merrily drive it down to the police station.

That, however, is exactly what one man in Surrey did.  

Did he at least put a safety belt on it?  Or did he put it in a booster seat?  Well, no – actually he chucked it in the boot of his car.  One can only imagine what might have happened if he’d hit a pothole (a very likely scenario in the UK these days.)

After talking to the police, the man pulled over and placed the mortar on the verge of the road.  The bomb disposal team were then contacted to deal with the item.

It’s unclear where the mortar was originally found or how it was eventually safely disposed of… but one thing is abundantly clear… DON’T DRIVE AROUND WITH UXO IN YOUR CAR!

Being serious…

Okay, so the last two items were a little silly.  And although we jest (and thankfully no one was hurt from their lack of common sense) – UXO is dangerous and should be treated extremely seriously.

The next update is far more likely and commonplace: UXO discovered on a construction site.

The story is simple, really.  Construction work was taking place in Atherfield on the Isle of Wight when a mortar was discovered in the sand.  Thankfully, the UXO was discovered safely, and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team were able to carry out a controlled explosion.

But what if the mortar had not been so conspicuous, however?  Air-dropped ordnance can lie hidden many metres below the surface.  Had the UXO been hit by construction equipment – a shovel or a digger perhaps – this story’s outcome could’ve been very different.

UXO can be anywhere – it is estimated that 10% of the bombs dropped during WWII did not function correctly.  It is extremely important that the correct measures are taken to mitigate any risk of accidental detonation.  It can prevent financial and reputational ruin – and save lives.

By getting a BombRisk report, you can discover the likelihood of UXO being present on your construction site and learn what steps you can take to mitigate the risk (if any should be required).

Contact us today to learn more – or get your instant BombRisk now.



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