A WWII unexploded bomb (UXB) was found on a building site in Coventry, forcing the evacuation of several hundred people from surrounding properties. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team used a specialist robot to investigate the condition of the device before preparing it for a controlled explosion.
The building site, at the junction of Puma Way and Paradise Street, is in central Coventry which was extensively damaged by the Luftwaffe during a major air raid in November 1940. More than 1,200No. high explosive bombs and 30,000No. incendiary bombs are estimated to have been dropped over Coventry during this raid and much of the city centre was reduced to ruin.
As such, it is not surprising that there have been periodic finds of UXB in the city. In 2008, a 50kg UXB was found during construction of the Belgrade Plaza, leading to a 500m evacuation zone which brought the city to a standstill.
The safety cordon remained in place until Tuesday evening when the UXB was finally destroyed in a controlled explosion.
Whilst media reports have suggested that the bomb was a 1,000kg ‘Hermann’, the blast mitigation implemented for the controlled explosion – and rumours from within the EOD industry – suggest that the device was considerably smaller, possibly 50kg.