Friday, 15 June 2007


All I can say is OOPS!

STAFF were evacuated and a 150-metre exclusion zone set up after a live hand grenade was found in rubbish taken to a Lynn recycling centre.
Bomb disposal experts, police and two Lynn fire crews were called to Horsley's Fields recycling centre after staff discovered the device – which still had its pin in place – just after 10.15am on Wednesday.
The centre and Horsley's Chase were closed for around four hours and three members of staff were evacuated from the site.
It is thought the grenade was taken to the centre in good faith by a local man who had been helping a relative clear out his loft.
Recycling adviser Darren Barker was helping the man, thought to be in his 20s, dispose of the waste, when he came across the grenade in a bag of rubbish.
Mr Barker (26), of South Lynn, explained: "I was just doing my usual job when I came across a bag which felt heavy – I thought it was just a piece of metal, I picked it up to look inside and there it was.
"It was rusty and still had its pin in it.
"I was a bit frightened –- with those sorts of things you don't know if it's alive or not.
"I called my supervisor over and we took it to the hut and shut the door before we got everyone evacuated.
"We are one of the busiest sites in Norfolk and we've had to turn a lot of people away today."
Area supervisor Mr Simon Walpole, of Tilney All Saints, said: "I phoned the fire brigade straight away because you can't take a chance, can you?
"We've found bullets here before, but never anything like this."
Speaking at the scene, sergeant David Bankart said the man had been acting in good faith and his relative had believed the grenade was de-activated.
Bomb disposal experts from RAF Wittering, in Cambridgeshire, removed the device to detonate it and the centre was re-opened at around 2.45pm.
Mr Mark Allen, waste resource manager at Norfolk County Council, said: "We would like to praise the staff for their quick thinking in identifying a potentially hazardous situation and their immediate action.
"Site staff are training on a range of health and safety issues but we again urge householders to think carefully about what they bring to the sites."

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