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Blast from the past in village

SPARKIES got a shock when they discovered an unexploded World War Two German pipe bomb in a loft in Balsall Common on Tuesday morning.

SPARKIES got a shock when they discovered an unexploded World War Two German pipe bomb in a loft in Balsall Common on Tuesday morning.

Electrical contractors stumbled across the live incendiary device as they re-wired a large detached house on Dockers Lane.

Solihull police secured the scene and called for bomb disposal experts who x-rayed the cylindrical shell, which was about 10 inches long.

Officers took the bomb to a nearby field off Barretts Lane, alerted air traffic control at Birmingham Airport, who imposed a low-fly exclusion zone over Balsall Common, and a controlled explosion was carried out shortly after 2pm.

Meriden Neighbourhood Police Team Sergeant Tony Hanlon was at the scene.

He said: “One of our PCs is a former army man so he went into the loft to look over the find. He suspected it was an explosive of some sort.

“We believe a former war veteran used to live in the house so may have been holding onto it as some sort of keepsake.

“However, as mementoes go, it was a pretty hazardous one!

“The device was packed inside a secure, explosive resistant box and escorted to a nearby field where it was buried in the ground, covered with sandbags and safely destroyed.

“We ensured no aircraft would be flying within 1,000-feet over the area. The controlled explosion could be heard for miles around.

“Disruption was kept to a minimum as the device was found in a large detached house so there was no need to evacuate other households or cordon off an extensive area.”

 

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