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Bishop's Stortford bomb scare: Army called out to woman's Second World War family heirloom

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The decommissioned Second World War German incendiary device
The decommissioned Second World War German incendiary device

An Army bomb disposal unit was called to a house in Bishop's Stortford this morning (Friday) after a couple feared that a family heirloom could be an unexploded bomb.

The device was 35cm (14in) in length
The device was 35cm (14in) in length

Police were called at 11.45am by a woman living in Rye Street who feared that an item she had inherited from her father, who died in 2008, as part of his collection of historic memorabilia could be explosive.

The woman and her husband had stored the collection in their attic for several years. On Thursday evening, as they were going through boxes, they became curious about one of the artefacts – a Second World War German incendiary device 14in (35cm) long – and googled it.

The search engine revealed that it could potentially be dangerous, so the husband took the device to the bottom of the garden and this morning they called emergency services.

Stortford police were the first on the scene, and officers contacted the Army EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) unit at Colchester, which arrived within an hour.

Neighbours in the three houses on either side were told to stay at the front of their properties while the bomb disposal unit assessed it. They ruled that it had been decommissioned and was therefore safe.

“We were called to what we thought was an unexploded Second World War bomb but it wasn’t,” said Insp Chris Hunt, of Bishop’s Stortford police.

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