UPDATE: Army bomb disposal experts deal with unexploded shell which turns out to be a piece of metal

View from a nearby building - Credit: @JUST1CEB

View from a nearby building - Credit: @JUST1CEB

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

FEARS an unexploded bomb had been discovered during roadworks brought a town to a standstill this afternoon - but officials later said it was just a metal pipe.

A main road was closed off after the discovery of a suspected wartime shell shortly before midday.

Workmen carrying out roadworks on the A23 London Road, Crawley, uncovered what they believed to be a one-and-a-half foot long piece of metal.

The road was closed in both directions between the Fleming Way Roundabout at Astral Towers and the Lowfield Heath roundabout while an army bomb disposal team was called to inspect the item.

Employees in nearby buildings said they were asked to remain inside also.

And people at the Premier Inn and Ibis hotels were asked to remain inside.

On arrival the police initially believed the shell was in fact a piece of metal.

But there was confusion after a British Army spokesman said the device was a bomb or a Second World War shell.

He said: "The device was taken away and reports of it being a pipe were incorrect."

But later when contacted by The Argus again he confirmed the incident was a false alarm and the item was not ammunition but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron.

Nicola Webber, manager of Brookfield Day Nursery and Holiday Club, said the incident was a "total nightmare" which saw 60 parents and children taking cover indoors.

She said: "We had a phone call from the police at around 1pm and we were just told to stay indoors and keep the children away from the windows. We had no idea what was going on and it was really frightening. Then I managed to get hold of the police again and find out that there was believed to be an explosive device along the road from us and that made everyone quite scared."

She said the centre was hosting a graduation celebration for the children.

She said: "The road was closed so parents who were coming for the ceremony could not get to us, and no-one could get out. We had to wait an hour and a half. I decided I would have to cancel the celebration but just at that moment a police officer visited to give us the all clear and we were able to carry on."
 

Inspector Andy Sanford, of Sussex Police, said: "We had to close the road for the protection of the public in case the item was a live shell.

"I would like to thank people for their patience.

"We apologise for any delays this may have caused but we had to make sure the area was safe."

Comments (12)

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3:03pm Fri 15 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

D'oh!
D'oh! notslimjim
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Fri 15 Aug 14

25standard says...

You would have thought that ground workers would be able to identify a piece of pipe! It would be funny, if it wouldn't have been so expensive and inconvenient!
You would have thought that ground workers would be able to identify a piece of pipe! It would be funny, if it wouldn't have been so expensive and inconvenient! 25standard
  • Score: 49

4:12pm Fri 15 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

25standard wrote:
You would have thought that ground workers would be able to identify a piece of pipe! It would be funny, if it wouldn't have been so expensive and inconvenient!
Even funnier if it's the one they're meant to be working on.
[quote][p][bold]25standard[/bold] wrote: You would have thought that ground workers would be able to identify a piece of pipe! It would be funny, if it wouldn't have been so expensive and inconvenient![/p][/quote]Even funnier if it's the one they're meant to be working on. notslimjim
  • Score: 19

4:24pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Goldenwight says...

Shades of the Roswell UFO/Weather balloon event here- a bit of a quick retraction of the earlier story that it was a pipe, methinks.
Shades of the Roswell UFO/Weather balloon event here- a bit of a quick retraction of the earlier story that it was a pipe, methinks. Goldenwight
  • Score: -21

6:59pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Nikski says...

Could have been a pipe bomb....they are favoured in NI.
Incidentally, 'notslimjim' is the person formerly known as 'stevo!!'!
Could have been a pipe bomb....they are favoured in NI. Incidentally, 'notslimjim' is the person formerly known as 'stevo!!'! Nikski
  • Score: -21

8:28pm Fri 15 Aug 14

hellohonkytonks says...

What 'useful idiot' confused a piece of pipe for a bomb? I would suggest to to stick to digging holes.What a numpty
What 'useful idiot' confused a piece of pipe for a bomb? I would suggest to to stick to digging holes.What a numpty hellohonkytonks
  • Score: 51

8:55pm Fri 15 Aug 14

John Steed says...

better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance
better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance John Steed
  • Score: -45

7:01am Sat 16 Aug 14

Brightonlad86 says...

John Steed wrote:
better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance
Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment.

If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment.

The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.
[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance[/p][/quote]Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment. If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment. The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct. Brightonlad86
  • Score: -29

10:25am Sat 16 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Brightonlad86 wrote:
John Steed wrote:
better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance
Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment.

If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment.

The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.
Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states.
[quote][p][bold]Brightonlad86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance[/p][/quote]Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment. If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment. The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.[/p][/quote]Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states. notslimjim
  • Score: 36

12:43pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Brightonlad86 says...

notslimjim wrote:
Brightonlad86 wrote:
John Steed wrote:
better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance
Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment.

If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment.

The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.
Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states.
Errrm.. It doesn't CLEARLY state that at all... "but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron" isn't a definitive description..

And for the record, have you ever heard of pipe bombs?? They look rather like pipes!

The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole.

Let's hope they don't disregard an unidentifed object in your neighbourhood one day.
[quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brightonlad86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance[/p][/quote]Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment. If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment. The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.[/p][/quote]Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states.[/p][/quote]Errrm.. It doesn't CLEARLY state that at all... "but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron" isn't a definitive description.. And for the record, have you ever heard of pipe bombs?? They look rather like pipes! The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole. Let's hope they don't disregard an unidentifed object in your neighbourhood one day. Brightonlad86
  • Score: -21

12:53pm Sat 16 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Brightonlad86 wrote:
notslimjim wrote:
Brightonlad86 wrote:
John Steed wrote:
better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance
Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment.

If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment.

The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.
Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states.
Errrm.. It doesn't CLEARLY state that at all... "but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron" isn't a definitive description..

And for the record, have you ever heard of pipe bombs?? They look rather like pipes!

The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole.

Let's hope they don't disregard an unidentifed object in your neighbourhood one day.
Pipe bombs tend to be full of explosives AND be above ground.

They aren't built then buried in the middle of nowhere hoping that one day the place will be built-up..

" The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole. "

How do you know?

You don't, and there is nothing 'clearly' about it.

The Army chap said:

"But later when contacted by The Argus again he confirmed the incident was a false alarm and the item was not ammunition but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron. "

NOT AMMUNITION.
[quote][p][bold]Brightonlad86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brightonlad86[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: better safe than dead, in any case of doubt in excavations the correct procedure is to stop digging and call in appropriate experts. and if it causes some short term local disturbance then so be it, its nothing compared to the fallout from exploding some old ordinance[/p][/quote]Have no idea why this comment has been scored -16. It's the only real sensible comment. If I was digging and come across something unexpected I would stop and leave it to the experts. I wouldn't put mine or anyone else's life at risk just to save myself from embarrassment. The very fact the object is STILL unidentifed ("may have been a pipe or a piece of iron") suggests that the action taken was correct.[/p][/quote]Sorry, but the army guys discovered it was a piece of pipe, as the report clearly states.[/p][/quote]Errrm.. It doesn't CLEARLY state that at all... "but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron" isn't a definitive description.. And for the record, have you ever heard of pipe bombs?? They look rather like pipes! The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole. Let's hope they don't disregard an unidentifed object in your neighbourhood one day.[/p][/quote]Pipe bombs tend to be full of explosives AND be above ground. They aren't built then buried in the middle of nowhere hoping that one day the place will be built-up.. " The 'pipe', or what ever it was, clearly had no purpose in the hole. " How do you know? You don't, and there is nothing 'clearly' about it. The Army chap said: "But later when contacted by The Argus again he confirmed the incident was a false alarm and the item was not ammunition but may have been a pipe or a piece of iron. " NOT AMMUNITION. notslimjim
  • Score: 30

1:50pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Goldenwight says...

Goldenwight wrote:
Shades of the Roswell UFO/Weather balloon event here- a bit of a quick retraction of the earlier story that it was a pipe, methinks.
So, workmen discover a suspicious object, which Police agree might be an UXB so call in EOD team. Or maybe they had already decided that it was a piece of pipe by this time- the ongoing story isn't clear and gives both statements at various times.

EOD team, rather that make the device safe or blow it up in situ (note that the story makes no report of them doing either) decide that it IS in fact a WW2 shell, and remove it intact, safety be damned. Oh, hang on- sorry- it ISN'T a WW2 shell, it is a piece of metal. Oh, no, sorry on all counts- in fact it IS a UXB.

Argus, do some JOURNALISM here. If the Police believed that they had found "a piece of metal" why did they call EOD? Do they make a habit of doing this for every piece of junk that they find? And why have the Army given 3 seperate, and entirely different, stories? Are these people actually sufficiently intelligent to be allowed to handle explosives in public places?

In the circumstances, I have to apologise for my Roswell comment- in that instance, the Government only changed their story once...
[quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: Shades of the Roswell UFO/Weather balloon event here- a bit of a quick retraction of the earlier story that it was a pipe, methinks.[/p][/quote]So, workmen discover a suspicious object, which Police agree might be an UXB so call in EOD team. Or maybe they had already decided that it was a piece of pipe by this time- the ongoing story isn't clear and gives both statements at various times. EOD team, rather that make the device safe or blow it up in situ (note that the story makes no report of them doing either) decide that it IS in fact a WW2 shell, and remove it intact, safety be damned. Oh, hang on- sorry- it ISN'T a WW2 shell, it is a piece of metal. Oh, no, sorry on all counts- in fact it IS a UXB. Argus, do some JOURNALISM here. If the Police believed that they had found "a piece of metal" why did they call EOD? Do they make a habit of doing this for every piece of junk that they find? And why have the Army given 3 seperate, and entirely different, stories? Are these people actually sufficiently intelligent to be allowed to handle explosives in public places? In the circumstances, I have to apologise for my Roswell comment- in that instance, the Government only changed their story once... Goldenwight
  • Score: -19

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