More than 3,000 people affected after Second World War explosive device found

More than 3,000 people have been affected by the discovery of a suspected Second World War explosive device in Plymouth.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were called on Tuesday morning after the object was found in a garden on St Michael Avenue.

Plymouth City Council said 1,219 properties and an estimated 3,250 people were impacted by a 300-metre cordon imposed around the Keyham area.

The extended cordon would allow ordnance disposal experts to work on the unexploded device.

Residents being evacuated in Keyham (Matt Keeble/PA)
Residents being evacuated in Keyham (Matt Keeble/PA)

Among those affected was Teresa Cork, who had travelled from her home in the Prince Rock area of the city to Keyham to rescue her son and daughter-in-law’s cat.

Mrs Cork was looking after her grandchildren because her son Daniel and daughter-in-law Beth live within the cordon and are currently away.

“It’s eerie. I went over to feed the cat yesterday and it is very eerie, and also quiet,” she said from the scene.

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More South West stories - click above

“Today it is a bit more scary because there is a lot more people – a lot more official people.

“There are sandbags everywhere and a bit more reality.”

Mrs Cork said her grandchildren were attending a local primary school in Keyham, which remained open.

Members of Dartmoor Rescue Group by the police cordon (Matt Keeble/PA)
Members of Dartmoor Rescue Group by the police cordon (Matt Keeble/PA)

“The school is still open. We are constantly looking at our phones to see if we have to pick them up as well,” she said.

“The police have been very good letting us in but today they said they would let us in but didn’t know when they would be able to again.

“They got evacuated on Tuesday and my son and daughter-in-law were going away, so I was having the grandchildren anyway and they organised for neighbours to feed the cat until this happened.

“I had to go back yesterday and feed it.”

She added: “They are coming back tomorrow to not know what is happening or whether they can go back.”

Residents are being encouraged to make arrangements to stay with friends and family over the next few days.

A rest centre, at the Life Centre, has also been set up as a possible place that people can stay.

Those who will have to move out of the expanded cordon are being told to take enough clothes, medical prescriptions or equipment they may need for the next couple of days.

Properties in Alexandra Road, Alexandra Terrace, Alfred Place, Alfred Road, Barton Avenue, Beatrice Avenue, Bedford Street, Berkshire Drive, Brunel Avenue, Brunel Terrace, Cambridge Road, Clyde Street and Cotehele Avenue will now have to be evacuated.

Neighbours in Epworth Terrace, Henderson Place, Kempe Close, Kent Road, Maristow Avenue, Moor View, North Down Crescent, North Down Gardens, Ocean Street and Parkside will also have to move.

The cordon extension now also covers Railway Cottages, Renown Street, Royal Navy Avenue, Sanctuary Close, St Aubyn Avenue, St Michael Avenue, Station Road, Sussex Road, Sussex Terrace, Townshend Avenue, Warleigh Avenue and York Terrace.

A council spokesman said: “Any vulnerable person that is known to the council has been contacted directly and we have worked closely with local community groups and organisations to cascade information out.

“In addition, this morning a team of 200 volunteer doorknockers from organisations including: mountain rescue, search and rescue, 4×4 responders, the police, military and fire service have been in the Keyham area, visiting each house, providing information and an offer of support if people need help.”