The area of Exeter being evacuated over WW2 bomb

Emergency services have published an evacuation zone in Exeter and locals within it will need to leave their homes by 9am tomorrow.

The unexploded bomb was found by builders working on a private building site this morning next to the University of Exeter campus.

A police cordon of 100m was put in place and occupants living near to the site were evacuated from their properties.

Tomorrow that cordon will be expanded to 400m at 8am at the request of the Royal Navy bomb disposal team.

Meanwhile, people living in the new evacuation zone have been told to leave their homes by 9am and stay away whilst experts conduct work to make the device safe.

The bomb evacuation zone in Exeter
The bomb evacuation zone in Exeter
(Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

The bomb was discovered on land adjacent to Dennyshill Care Home on Glenthorne Road at around 9.20am today.

Residents, including those at the care home, and students from the university were evacuated and more buildings have been evacuated this evening.

Residents of student properties, residential homes and a care home have sought refuge at hotels and other alternative accommodation. They will be away from their homes for, reportedly, at least 48 hours.

Earlier today an immediate road closure was put in place at the junction between Cowley Bridge road and Lower Argyle Road with nobody being allowed through.

Meanwhile a number of other entrances to the campus were also blocked off and a major incident was declared.

If the bomb is in fact a relic from World War Two, there is a chance it was dropped in 1942 when the city was bombed heavily as part of the Baedeker Blitz.

WW2 bomb evacuation at Exeter University's Streatham Campus
WW2 bomb evacuation at Exeter University’s Streatham Campus
(Image: Basya Batubara)

On the night of April 24/25, the Pennsylvania area of the city was particularly badly hit, leaving 73 dead and 54 injured.

Police have said they hope work will be completed by the end of the day on Saturday, but will be guided by the bomb disposal team.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Residents should be reassured that military, police and partners are working to maintain public safety.

“Our request for Residents to leave their homes may cause concern in relation to Covid-19 regulations.

“Be reassured that exemptions in the rules do exist for matters of public safety such as this.

The World War Two bomb discovered in Exeter today
The World War Two bomb discovered in Exeter today
(Image: Deborah Leighton Plom)

“While you are away from your home, please do all you can to ensure that you minimize any risk to others. Wash your hands regularly, use a face covering and keep your distance from those not in your household, where you can.

“Anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or who is self-isolating or shielding should wear a face covering or face mask and avoid contact with others.

“Residents evacuated today (Friday, February 26) who have not found alternative accommodation are being supported by partner agencies.

“Police were called to the site at 9.20am on Friday, February 26.

“The University of Exeter is assisting with evacuating students in nearby halls of residence.”

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