Monday 29 May 2017

Unexploded Second World War grenades found near Gatwick

Peter Woodman

AIR and rail travel was affected today after workers discovered unexploded Second World War hand grenades near a major airport.

The find was made by Network Rail staff working close to Gatwick Airport railway station in West Sussex.



Outgoing flights from the airport were briefly halted and rail services were stopped while a bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion.



Train companies whose services were delayed were Gatwick Express, Southern, First Capital Connect and First Great Western.



Three hand grenades, one four-inch mortar and a smoke grenade were found in a metal container on a building site close to the south terminal's forecourt approach road.



Sussex Police said they were discovered at the site by workers who called officers at 10.50am today.



Departures and arrivals for train and air passengers were suspended for 15 minutes while a bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion at 1.20pm.



The discovery is not being treated as suspicious and no damage or injury was caused, a police spokesman said.



He said: "Police were called to a building site near to the Gatwick South Terminal forecourt approach road and adjacent to the railway line at 10.50am after workers found what appeared to be unexploded devices.



"The immediate area was cordoned off and a military ordnance disposal team attended.



"They identified the objects as of World War Two vintage - three hand grenades, one four-inch mortar and a smoke grenade, which had apparently been unearthed over recent weeks and stored in a metal container before police were called today.



"The cordon did not affect traffic or any other access to or from the airport and at no stage was there any danger to the public.



"Train and air arrivals and departures were suspended for 15 minutes purely as a precaution when the controlled explosion was being carried out.



"There was no damage or injury and the incident is now closed."



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