Explosive end to 2019


December saw a large number of explosive finds across the UK and beyond. From torpedoes in Scotland, grenades in Alcester to a massive bomb in Italy that saw half a city evacuated.

December unexploded ordnance finds in Britain:

6th Dec: Unexploded WWII torpedo was found in Scapa Flow and forced the closure of Kirkwall Airport, Orkney.  Vessels in the area were advised to remain 1.2 miles away from the ordnance which was discovered close to the wreck of HMS Royal Oak, which was sunk by a U-boat in October 1939.

11th Dec: A WWII device was found in Poolstock, Wigan and a decision made to conduct a controlled explosion.

14th Dec: Part of Chelsea Embankment in London is cordoned off after a suspected WWII bomb was discovered - on a construction site of course (should have used BombRisk or called SafeLane)...

17th Dec: WWII naval shell found on Pagham beach, West Sussex with its firing cartridge still attached.  The Army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team carried out a controlled detonation.

22nd Dec: A suspected unexploded device is found in an underpass in Portsmouth - a cordon is established and it is safely removed...

30th Dec: A live WWII grenade found is in the outbuilding of a house in Alcester - initially the fire brigade is called before the bomb squad arrived to remove and safely dispose of the item.

30th Dec: Farlington Marshes, Portsmouth, was cordoned off following the discovery of UXO by a metal detectorist. It was thought that the item could have been a WWI-era chemical munition - it was taken away for safe disposal.

International bomb discoveries:

2nd Dec: British 500lb WWII-era bomb is found in Turin, Italy. Over 10,000 people have to be evacuated and flights and trains were cancelled or diverted during the intense operation to deactivate its detonator.

13th Dec: Camp Foster, a US Marine Corps base in Okinawa, Japan, was evacuated following the discovery of UXO during construction works.

24th Dec: A cache of what is believed to be WWII-era UXO and ammunition was discovered near the Ipoh Inland Port, Malaysia, by construction workers.

30th Dec: 54,000 people in the city of Brindisi, Italy, were evacuated following the discovery of a WWII bomb during construction works.  The bomb was damaged making it even more dangerous.  Brindisi's airport, train station, two hospitals and a prison were all evacuated.


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