Plymouth bomb: 'I'm sorry': Woman's message to city after WWII explosive found in her garden

A woman whose back garden was at the centre of an unexploded bomb scare that prompted one of the biggest evacuations since the Second World War has described the ordeal as an "absolute nightmare".

Speaking to Sky News, Natalie Jary said she wanted to say "sorry" to the community of Keyham where she lives in Plymouth.

The 500kg wartime explosive was unearthed by her father as he dug foundations for a rear extension to her home in St Michael Avenue.

Read all of our coverage on the Second World War bomb here

The discovery on Tuesday prompted a major emergency, with the munition assessed as posing a significant risk to public safety.

A 300-metre cordon was put in place around the site, affecting 1,219 properties and an estimated 3,250 people.

About 30 of the armed forces' most experienced bomb disposal specialists worked around the clock to assess the condition of the device and decide how best to deal with it.

On Friday, a military convoy carried the unexploded bomb on the back of a truck from the garden through a deserted residential area to Torpoint Ferry slipway, where it was taken out to sea and later detonated.

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Ms Jary described the incident as an "absolute nightmare".

She said: "[This is the] last thing I thought would happen doing an extension.

"I want to say thank you to the street and thank you to police and council.

"I wanted to say sorry to Keyham."

She added her insurance would cover the damage to the garden.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps praised the "bravery and fortitude" of personnel involved in the "highly complex operation" and the "patience and cooperation" of members of the public.

He said: "I would like to express my thanks to all our personnel involved in this highly complex operation, who worked both night and day this week to keep the public safe and minimise the risk of damage, as well as the public for their patience and cooperation.

"The success of this operation is a testament to the level of skill and expertise across our armed forces, as well as the bravery and fortitude of our personnel when faced with high-risk situations and working under extreme pressure."

Plymouth City Council leader Tudor Evans said: "I think it is fair to say that the last few days will go down in history for Plymouth."