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Safe disposal of UXO in UK and Germany

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This week has seen successful UXO mitigation in Göttingen Germany, as the safe removal of threats in Scotland and Essex.

Safe disposal of four WWII bombs in Germany

8,000 residents have been able to return to their homes in the city of Göttingen in Germany, following the safe disposal of four WWII bombs.

The devices weighed 10 tons, which is why such a large-scale evacuation was essential.  Coronavirus restrictions were suspended to ensure that everyone had safe accommodation with family, friends, or at evacuation centres.

The unexploded bombs (UXB) were discovered during construction works, as is particularly common in Germany.

This successful defusal is positive in particular for Göttingen, because in 2010, three Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service team members tragically died when the bomb they were trying to safely diffuse exploded.

As we’re able to report on the safe disposal of ordnance so often, it can be forgotten how dangerous dealing with these devices actually is.

Windowpanes shattered as a result of blast waves from the explosion however, but just 2 hours after the detonation and further checks for additional ordnance, the area was thankfully deemed safe.

It must never be forgotten that UXO has been designed to kill.  Regrettably, these relics of past conflict impact the progression of life even today.  Construction work cannot commence until the threat has been assessed and, if necessary, removed.  Unless forethought is applied and risk assessments and surveys done, an unexpected encounter with unexploded items could result in loss of life or severe injury.

 

Stormy seas continue to cause UXO displacement

On Thursday 28th January, a large grey canister was found on the shoreline of a beach in Uig, Isle of Lewis, in Scotland.

The markings on the canister made those who found it cautious – they suspected it may be an item of UXO and so contacted HM Coastguard.

The area was secured, and the Coastguard monitored the situation while waiting for bomb disposal experts to arrive on the island.  The beach was cordoned off and members of the public were requested to stay away until the site had been declared safe.

The ever-changing, unpredictable nature of UXO at sea is why appropriate risk mitigation services are essential for any projects in the marine environment.

Essex gets a shake up as grenades safely detonated

On Tuesday 2nd of February police were called to Station Road, Cacton just before 2:30pm as a result of the discovery of two grenades.

The grenades were spotted while a building was being cleared out.  Police cordoned off the area and a bomb disposal unit from Colchester’s 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment was dispatched to safely remove the items of UXO.

Upon expert inspection, it was determined that 1 of the grenades was inert and stable so could be received and safely disposed of.  The other was live and needed to be destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Both devices were confirmed to be ordnance from WWII.

An army spokesperson urged the public to raise an alarm if they ever have any concerns about an unidentified item - and they also reminded the public not to touch any suspicious items.  SafeLane Global completely supports and agrees with this expert advice.

It is always right to err heavily on the side of caution when there is a risk an item could contain explosives.

When the device was detonated, Amanda Peters who lives nearby in The Chase said, ‘the ground shook.’

After checking, she and her husband realised it was likely to be explosive ordnance as this has happened in the area before. 

Bomb disposal experts were later called back to the scene after another grenade and mortar bomb were discovered.  Both of these devices were declared inert.

When working on any construction or infrastructure project in London or the surrounding areas, UXO risk mitigation services such as desktop site risk assessments provide value and ensure safety.  Due to the intensity of the bombing in these areas in WWII there remains a high risk of encountering ordnance.

 

Don’t let UXO put your team in the path of unnecessary risk – and don’t let it impact on your project’s timelines and profitability.  Contact SafeLane Global today for a free consultation on your risk mitigation needs. 

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