Shropshire Star

Controlled explosion carried out after Second World War munitions unearthed at village homes site

Police evacuated properties and cordoned off a 100m zone in a village near Shrewsbury after Second World War munitions were found on a site where new homes are being built.

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Emergency services deal with an incident at Minsterley Road, Pontesbury

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts carried out a controlled explosion on Thursday night after the discovery in the afternoon.

Emergency services rushed to Minsterley Road in Pontesbury on blue lights and sirens during the afternoon.

Aerial view of the building site in Pontesbury where the munitions were found

Police taped off a large area and were turning cars around, with the A488 through Pontesbury closed and people asked to avoid the area.

EOD experts were called in at at around 9.30pm, West Mercia Police tweeted: "The cordon on Minsterley Road in #Pontesbury, #Shrewsbury has now been lifted following reports that an unexploded ordnance was discovered this afternoon.

"The area has now been made safe by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), who carried out a controlled explosion.

Emergency services deal with an incident at Minsterley Road, Pontesbury

"People may see a continued police presence overnight as we ensure the area remains safe. However, there is no further threat to the public and people are now able to return to their homes and roads have reopened."

Speaking earlier, Inspector Nick Horton said: "Earlier today we received a call from the workers here working on the new build site. They were doing some preparatory groundworks and uncovered what they believed to be some form of munitions, potentially from World War Two.

"As a result of that we've arrived along with our partners in the fire and rescue service and as a precaution we put a 100m cordon on until we can ascertain exactly what it was we're dealing with.

"I'd first like to thank everyone from the local community who's helped us put that cordon on, obviously which is to help them, which is fabulous.

"Going beyond that we've asked for EOD to come along with the MOD. They have ascertained what it is we're dealing with and it is, in fact, munitions from World War Two.

"They have two or three of these incidents weekly, nationally, so there's probably 150 of these things going on every year up and down the country. So it's nothing unusual and I want to stress, despite some rumours, there's nothing untoward happening here. It's almost business as usual for the EOD."

Polioce at the scene in Pontesbury

A Shropshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "At 16:03 on Thursday, 25 August, 2022, SFRS Fire Control received a call reporting an incident classified as Hazardous Substances in Pontesbury.

"Two fire appliances were mobilised from Minsterley and Shrewsbury. Operations and Hazmat officers were in attendance. Attending crews used the following equipment; breathing apparatus, hosereel jet.

Emergency services deal with an incident at Minsterley Road, Pontesbury

"We are currently dealing with a hazardous materials incident in this area. Members of the public are advised to keep windows and doors shut and avoid the area.

"Several properties are being evacuated as a precaution and the A488 through Pontesbury is currently closed, please find an alternative route."

Emergency services deal with an incident at Minsterley Road, Pontesbury
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