Weekend DIY Project unearths 24 WW2 grenades in mans back garden.
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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:10 PM
A man has unearthed a hoard of Second World War phosphorus grenades in his back garden. Ian Cooke, 28, a financial advisor, discovered 24 of the dangerous glass bombs when digging holes for new decking at his home yesterday afternoon.Around 3.3pm, Mr Cooke uncovered a broken glass vial two feet under his lawn that had been filled with a diesel-smelling liquid.
He dipped his spade into the chemical but was stunned when smoke started pluming from the blade. Smoke continued to billow from the hole so he immediately ran inside and called 999. Emergency services were rushed to the house on Belbroughton Road, Halesowen, West Mids, and when a Royal Logistic Bomb Disposal Team arrived they discovered a further 23 grenades. Today the team attempted to make the grenades safe by filling a skip with water and opening them while submerged, diluting the chemicals inside making sure they cannot be ignited.
Mr Cooke said he had been told by bomb disposal experts that they had discovered a large hoard of No 76 phosphorous grenades used by the Home Guard in the Second World War. He said: 'When they got here the street was cordoned off and people were asked to stay inside and keep their windows closed. 'The bomb disposal team told me that 24 No 76 phosphorous grenades had been found - I was gobsmacked. 'When I found the vial I was not going to take any chances - I know nothing about weapons and grenades but knew this could be dangerous.
'When smoke started pluming out of the hole I just ran inside and called 999. 'The bomb experts said that they were going to open the rest of the grenades submerged in water - it makes the phosphorous safe by diluting it. 'I was supposed to be going to my friend's wedding today but it looks like I am going to miss the ceremony. 'It's okay though - as long as I don't miss the buffet. 'I will certainly have a tale to tell when I get there - it is just mind blowing to think these bombs have been here since I moved here a few months ago.' The No 76 was an incendiary grenade filled with white phosphorus used during the war and was issued to the Home Guard at a time when the UK faced a possible Nazi invasion.
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