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Flaming shock for site workers

PUBLISHED: 13:25 03 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

A CONTRACTOR digging beside an Ipswich estate unearthed a surprise when an incendiary device turned up in a bucket of earth. Yellow liquid leaking from an old half-pint bottle burst into flames as a trench-digger plucked the aged device from dirt he was removing from a ditch on Nacton Road.

A CONTRACTOR digging beside an Ipswich estate unearthed a surprise when an incendiary device turned up in a bucket of earth.

Yellow liquid leaking from an old half-pint bottle burst into flames as a trench-digger plucked the aged device from dirt he was removing from a ditch on Nacton Road.

"Two or three drops slipped out and there were flames," said Darren Moyes, a contractor with Eve Utilities who was laying electricity cables alongside Ravenswood estate.

The find came just the day before the Duke of Gloucester was set to fly into the former Ipswich Airport site to open the estate's new primary school.

"It was just a little glass bottle with some liquid stuff in," said Mr Moyes.

"As we put it down on the side it started smoking and then caught alight. We covered it up with dirt and called the fire brigade."

Mr Moyes, 27, said smoking vapour from the bottle caused he and his colleague, who dug up the device, to choke.

Fire crews from Prince's Street were called to the scene at around 1.40pm yesterday.

Firefighters alerted police and called in an Army Bomb Disposal Unit after looking at the device.

Assistant Divisional Officer with Suffolk Fire Service Paul Seager said he believed the contractors had unearthed "an old incendiary device" with a self-igniting mechanism.

Bomb disposal experts destroyed the device with a controlled explosion at the scene of the find opposite The Thrasher pub.

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