Bomb squad in Wigan after eight-year-old boy finds hand grenade

Bomb disposal experts have been called to Wigan after a hand grenade was found by an eight-year-old boy.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 8:10 pm
Police at the scene of Gathurst Lane, Shevington

Tyler Ball was magnet fishing in the River Douglas, off Gathurst Lane in Shevington, when he made the discovery this morning (January 18).

His mum Charlotte called the police, who taped off the area, so that the bomb squad could assess the item.

She said "We have been magnet fishing this morning and we have found a grenade.

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Police tape at the scene

"Gathurst area will be closed and they’re ringing the bomb squad.

"At first we thought it may have been an old piece of metal, when looking closer we could see the ridges. I sent a photo to my nephew Tyrone Lane who was in the army and he confirmed it was a grenade and to ring the police and move away."

The bomb squad has been at the scene and have carried out a controlled explosion, according to residents, who also reported "hearing a loud bang".

Fire crews and the police have been in attendance to give assistance.

The grenade which was discovered. (Photo: Charlotte Ball)

Road closures have been in place.

A Greater Manchester Police Spokesman said: "Police were called at around 11.30am to a report of a possible historic unexploded device being found off Gathurst Lane in the Shevington area of Wigan.

"Officers are in attendance and road closures are in place.

"EOD are on their way to the scene to carry out an assessment of the item."

Tyler Ball who discovered the grenade (Photo: Charlotte Ball)

Transport for Greater Manchester advised people to check with their bus operators for information on diversions.

TfGM tweeted: "B5206 Gathurst Lane closed between Princes Park and Ackhurst Lane. This is due to a police incident.

"Please check with your local bus operator for diversion information."

Appley Bridge Community Association added: "Gathurst Lane is CLOSED... an old grenade has been found so the police have closed the road and are waiting for the bomb squad to come and take it away."

The place where the grenade was found is close to what used to be the Roburite factory, now a housing estate.

It made explosives for the mining industry for generations but during the Second World War it was also used for the manufacture of munitions.

In October 2011, bomb disposal experts carried out controlled explosions of two "live and viable" World War Two hand grenades on the Roburite (or Orica as it was called then) site just months after it closed for good.

In July 1995 the factory was evacuated after a workman for contractors Routledge and Son found a badly corroded grenade on the same site. Bomb disposal teams took it away for safe disposal and later revealed that the grenade was empty and there was no danger of its exploding..

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