A large part of Birmingham remains closed today as builders returned to work yesterday and were soon in for a surprise, with the Monday morning getting off to a rather difficult start after one of the crew discovered a bomb at 9.45am yesterday.
The large unexploded World War Two bomb was found at the bottom of the construction site situated in Priory Road, Aston and weighs a whopping 500lbs!
A 500-metre exclusion zone was cordoned off, with the A38 Aston Expressway and the M6, still remain heavily affected this morning with rail services into and out of Birmingham New Street also expected to be affected until this afternoon.
For the roughly 90 people that lived nearby, they had a taste of World War Two life, as they had to spend the night away from their homes in a Red Cross rest centre as the bomb disposal experts got to work, which included the delivery of 50 tonnes of sand to aid with the disposal efforts.
Chris Johnson, Birmingham Police Commander said:
“An initial assessment from Army bomb disposal suggests this is a large explosive device − that’s why an extensive cordon has been put in place for public safety.
“There is the possibility we may have to extend the cordon on advice from experts…we don’t take decisions like this lightly but public safety has to be our number one priority.
“Hundreds of homes have been evacuated and we are working with our partners to provide emergency accommodation.
“There have been some difficulties in accessing the device given the terrain and its position within a construction site − but all agencies involved are working as quickly as possible to bring the situation to a safe conclusion with brave military staff risking their safety to ensure that of the public.
“I recognise the impact on people’s lives that incidents like this cause, and I would like to thank the public for their understanding and support at this time.”