CCTV footage: bomb exploded in Clissold Park
PUBLISHED: 12:05 06 January 2015 | UPDATED: 17:47 06 January 2015
Pioneering technology was used during a controlled explosion of a World War Two bomb in Clissold Park on Sunday afternoon.
The device, believed to be a live, high explosive-filled three inch mortar round, was found by Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen magazine, who was digging in his garden in Burma Road at around 1pm.
He said: “I was a little nervous when I realised it might be a bomb but it was pretty exciting too to be honest.
“It was like digging up a potent bit of history.
“I was being pretty rough with the spade when I dug it up as there was a lot of rubble where I was digging, so I assumed that if it was going to go off, it would have already.
“All the same I put it down carefully on the border and sheepishly kept clear of it while I carried on putting the plants in, and called the police when I’d finished.”
Hackney Council’s duty emergency planning officer was alerted, who decided the popular family park was the best place to take the 70-year old bomb.
The park was closed and explosive officers from the Met moved the bomb as quickly as possible to the nearest place it could be safely exploded - away from the animals which live there which include deer and goats.
At around 3.30pm the bomb was safely detonated using Floodsax – a new development in flood control technology from Environmental Defence Systems Ltd – for the first time ever, which involves covering the bomb with white bags filled with water to prevent shrapnel flying about due to blast.
Mr Fairs said: “The police explosives expert said it was unlikely to be live after all this time and it looked pretty corroded, so I didn’t think too much about it when they took it away to do a controlled explosion in the park.
“However the size of the explosion was pretty shocking so I guess I was lucky - most of all though I regret not taking more photos and videos of it when I found it to show people.”
The council’s park rangers were on-hand to ensure the welfare of the park’s wildlife and they helped the police clean up after detonation.
Floodsax are biodegradable and present no environmental risks, so any residue will degrade into the soil.
The controlled blast was caught on camera by the CCTV at Clissold House.
It is not uncommon to find undetonated bombs from World War II in London.
A police spokesman said: “Incidents like this happen on a very frequent basis and are much more routine than the public realises.”
Stephanie Akhurst tweeted: “There’s a controlled detonation of a WW2 bomb going on in Clissold Park. Hackney is never boring.
Peter Simon added: “Afternoon’s dog walk curtailed in Clissold Park by unexploded WW2 bomb. Quite hard explaining that one to them.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.