A spent 28lb practice bomb has been found by a Conwy resident who was digging in his garden on Easter Sunday.
Dave Drew uncovered the metal item while excavating a trench to lay concrete in preparation for a summerhouse at his home in Trefriw, North Wales. During the excavations, his spade struck a metallic item, which he initially refused to believe was potentially dangerous.
Mr Drew told North Wales Live “I’ve come across an old tractor engine as well as numerous items discarded by the blacksmith who used to work here. My wife was worried it could be something more dangerous and she didn’t want it left in the garden, just 25ft from the front door.”
Unsure of the item, Mr Drew turned to social media, where he was advised it looked like unexploded ordnance (UXO) and encouraged to contact the police.
Disposing of the item
Mr Drew contacted the police and took photographs of the item, which were sent to the Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operations Centre for investigation. Military bomb disposal operators informed Mr Drew that the item was potentially dangerous.
The item was moved to a nearby rugby pitch where a police officer guarded it until the next day when bomb disposal teams returned to site and carried out a controlled explosion.
A spokesperson from North Wales Police said, “Shortly before 6pm yesterday (18 April), officers attended an address in Trefriw following the discovery of a suspected unexploded ordnance (UXO) device. The device was located in the property’s garden by the homeowner. Officers attended the address along with members of the EOD unit. The device was securely contained and transferred to a safe, non-residential location for overnight monitoring. A secure detonation was conducted by EODU just before 9am today (19 April).”
Brimstone takes a closer look
We have assessed the images found in the media and can confirm the item is a 28lb practice bomb. These bombs were used extensively up until the 1980s by British aviators across air weapons ranges in the UK, such as Pembrey Sands in South Wales and the now closed RAF Cowden in Yorkshire.
The 28lb practice bomb carries a high explosive and white phosphorous charge within the tail section. The head section (pictured) is solid metal with a mechanical striker inside, designed to ignite the fuze in the tail section on impact.
On initiation, white phosphorous is kicked out by the explosive charge causing characteristic plumes of smoke, flashes and a loud noise. The purpose of the charge was for aviators to track bomb strikes during training exercises.
Our UXO engineers have analyzed the photographs of the item and have determined that the tail section is not present. The fuze and fill have been initiated and the item is inert.
Our team based at RAF Cowden deal with 28lb practice bombs on a regular basis, disposing of 32 individual 28lb practice bombs since February alone.
UXO Disposal Specialists
Whether you are planning for a project in advance or need emergency response, we have the capacity and capabilities to safely remove UXO risk, on time and in budget. If you need UXO support but are not sure where to start, you can use our handy online tool to find the service best for you.