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Mail on Sunday logo Mail on Sunday 27/02/2021 jane.wharton

THE skies of Exeter were filled with plumes of smoke last night after a Second World War bomb was blown up by the Army.

Residents described a ‘horribly loud’ bang which was heard up to ten miles away as the device, dropped by German planes some 80 years ago, was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

The bomb, measuring eight foot in length and 27 inches in diameter, was uncovered on a building site near the University of Exeter on Friday morning. An initial cordon of 330ft was extended to 1,310ft yesterday and all 2,600 nearby households ordered to leave.

Those evacuated included around 1,400 students living in 12 halls of residence close to the site. At around 6.10pm, personnel from the Army’s Royal Logistics Corps exploded the device.

On the same day, police in South-West London also had to deal with the discovery of an unexploded bomb. Specialist officers were called to East Sheen Common at around 12.20pm and sealed off the area. They safely removed the device before taking down the cordon at 1.45pm.

The MoD is called out to around 60 unexploded Second World War bombs every year, while Zetica, a company which specialises in dealing with ordnance, said private companies handle around 8,000 a year, although it is not known how many of them are from the war.

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