UXO - on the beaches, in the garden, and in the skip!


It would seem apt to headline this latest BombRisk update “in bombshell news” – especially as the latest unexploded ordnance (UXO) findings have created quite an impact.   From an 88-kilogram British air-dropped bomb to leaking mustard gas – let’s look at the latest UXO findings.


X Marcks the spot – an 88-kilogram bomb discovered in Marck, France

In the Pas-de-Calais department of Northern France, an aerial bomb containing 88 kilograms of explosives was discovered on a construction site – halting all traffic and leaving residents in lockdown until clearance operations finished.  

During clearance, residents were asked to open their windows but close their shutters in case of an accidental detonation, which may have caused glass to shatter.

Meanwhile in the French village of Levergies, 1,500 rounds of WWI ammunition and 27 tons of shells were found.  500 villagers had to evacuate for a week while the threat was dealt with.  

Deposits like these are reportedly found in this small region at least once every 10 years.

Mustard gas – an oft-forgotten chemical threat

In Courcelles le Comte, also located in the Pas-de-Calais of Northern France, a 35-year-old local farmer happened upon a shell in his field whilst harvesting potatoes.  This shell contained mustard gas which subsequently began leaking, causing the farmer, his wife, and two young children (aged 3 and 1) to acquire severe burns on their skin.

The farmer immediately called the fire department which subsequently dealt with the leaking shell.  The farmer and his family were taken to the hospital for treatment and testing.

A not-so-relaxing day at the beach in Paignton, Devon

Metal detecting is a hobby enjoyed by many, often unearthing treasures and trinkets – but it can also reveal hidden threats and dangers.

A metal detectorist on Paignton beach in Devon discovered an unexploded WW2 bomb hidden beneath the unassuming sand.  Torbay Coastguard Rescue Team carefully excavated the sand to send pictures to the Royal Navy bomb disposal team.

The area was cordoned off overnight due to the changing tides before the bomb was later taken away for disposal.

In Merseyside in Liverpool, two unexploded bombs were found within 24 hours of each other!  One was located near Everton’s new stadium at the Bramley Moore Docks, whereas the other was discovered in a skip near West Kirby…we are unsure how a bomb ended up in the skip…

Meanwhile, on a quiet cul-de-sac in Harrogate, the Ministry of Defence was called to recover an unexploded bomb that was found in a resident’s garden. 

In other words, UXO can turn up anywhere.

More common than you think

Finding UXO is not as uncommon as you might think – there could be some at your local beach, on the outskirts of your town, in your garden, or littering your construction site.  Thankfully, with proper precautions, the risk can be determined and mitigated.

By ordering a BombRisk survey, you can determine the level of risk of encountering UXO in your project area – potentially saving you money, reputational damage and critically, protecting the lives of your personnel.

Contact us today for your BombRisk report.

Published by SafeLane Global on