Bomb find brings port to standstill

CONSTRUCTION workers had to be evacuated from their building site after an unexploded bomb was brought ashore.The artillery shell – believed to be from the second world war – was found by the crew of a dredger deepening the shipping channel in Harwich Harbour.

CONSTRUCTION workers had to be evacuated from their building site after an unexploded bomb was brought ashore.

The artillery shell – believed to be from the second world war – was found by the crew of a dredger deepening the shipping channel in Harwich Harbour.

Material being dredged was brought ashore as part of land reclamation for the new extension to Trinity Terminal at Felixstowe port.

When the bomb was spotted yesterday afternoon, bosses immediately decided to evacuate the site as a precaution and called the police.

Officers liaised with a bomb squad from a military base at Saffron Walden, which sent a team of experts to deal with the weapon.

Port corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said: "It was decided to evacuate as a precaution really because we didn't know what we were dealing with.

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"The bomb was a shell about 12 inches long and was sitting in mud over the far side of the extension site, well away from the rest of the port.

"No other part of the port was effected and everyone carried on working normally."

The bomb disposal team carried out a controlled detonation of the bomb at about 6.30pm – a blast which could be heard across the town.

Construction workers are carrying out a £60m scheme to extend Trinity Terminal to provide an extra 270 metres of quays, 40 acres of extra back-up land and a third railhead.

Piling work was due to start this week and is expected to last 24 weeks with the main quay wall tubular piling taking up about 15 weeks of the work.

Dredgers have been working daily in the harbour for several months preparing the channel leading to where the new berths will be.

The northern extension will take the port up to its Parliamentary agreed limits, just yards from the Trimley Marshes nature reserve. The quay is expected to be fully operational by July 2004.

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

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