A major route has been closed and evacuated after eight grenades were found by contractors carrying out roadworks. The suspicious devices, which are believed to be white phosphorous grenades, were found in Plymouth this afternoon.

Police were alerted to the explosive devices at 2.35pm after they were discovered on the northbound side of Tavistock Road

Highways workers were evacuated from the area while emergency services attended the scene.

By 3.40pm the road between Crownhill and Derriford was completely shut off in both directions and a 100-meter cordon was set up around the area.

White phosphorous grenades
Derriford roundabout, plymouth

A Royal Navy spokesman said three members of the dive bomb disposal team were on their way to Tavistock Road. The team is likely to either detonate the grenades in-situ or take them away to blow them up.

It was said images of the grenades will be sent to bomb disposal teams who will assess the threat and decide whether to visit the scene.

White phosphorous grenades were chemical grenades used by the British Army in late 1916.Other common names for white phosphorous grenades include WP and the slang term “Willie Pete” or “Willie Peter” derived from William Peter, the Secord World War phonetic alphabet for “WP”, which is dated from its use in the war and the Vietnam conflict.

– Cornwall Live