Locals crying in the street, cars wrecked, home windows blown in – and the mother of all craters.
It sounds like the fall-out from a major gas disaster.
But this was the catalogue of chaos from the ‘controlled explosion’ of a Second World War bomb which left residents wondering what damage an uncontrolled one might have caused.
Army experts were called in after the 550lb German bomb was discovered on a building site in Kingston, south-west London, on Thursday.
The scene of the controlled explosion of a WWII 250kg Bomb at Fassett Road West London which has left a massive crate, shattered windows and damage to buildings and a nearby vehicle
Around 1,500 residents were evacuated and a cordon was put in place as the bomb disposal team set to work.
In many cases such bombs are taken away and disposed of in a remote location. So the decision to detonate this one where it was after packing tons of sand around it left locals assuming they would hear a muted bang. What they actually got on Friday afternoon was a deafening boom that could be heard eight miles away.
One resident tweeted hearing a ‘massive explosion like thunder’. Others said they felt the walls of their homes shake. Families described ‘apocalyptic’ scenes upon returning home.
the 550lb German bomb was discovered on a building site in Kingston, south-west London, on Thursday and detonated the next day in a controlled explosion
Keeley Malone, 21, said: ‘People were crying in the streets, it wasn’t very nice to see really. From what I saw yesterday it was horrible. Most of the house windows down the road were smashed. There was sand everywhere.’
At the site itself, the Army team posed for a picture at the crater left by the blast. The bomb is thought to have been a SC250, or Sprengbombe Cylindrisch 250, which was used widely by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz. It dropped 24,000 tons of high explosive on London in 85 major raids.
Police said damage had been limited to a 50-yard radius of the detonation. Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar said: ‘The matter of detonating this device was taken with the utmost seriousness and I’d like to thank the Army and the other emergency services for their assistance and support.’
The MoD was contacted for comment.
GSU MACA Troop successfully took part in the safe demolition of a WW2 German Bomb in Kingston Upon Thames, London. Working through the night to put in a mitigation system to allow for a safe controlled detonation