Homes evacuated after 'bomb' alert

AN EVACUATION was sparked after a Suffolk resident found what appeared to be an unexploded bomb.A spokesman for Suffolk police said they were called to Fletcher Road, in Ipswich, at about 3.

AN EVACUATION was sparked after a Suffolk resident found what appeared to be an unexploded bomb.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said they were called to Fletcher Road, in Ipswich, at about 3.40pm yesterday after receiving a report that someone had found an unexploded bomb with distinctive fins.

The bomb disposal unit at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough, was immediately dispatched while police officers evacuated nearby homes and closed part of the road as a precaution.

Members of the bomb disposal squad confirmed the 'bomb' was a United States Army Air Force practice missile, which could have had a danger zone of about five metres if it was live, but was actually harmless.


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A Suffolk police spokesman said the bomb squad took the missile, which was coloured red and blue, away for disposal.

Johnathan Ehlert, 25, had no idea of the potential danger the practice missile posed. Thinking it was simply a model, he put it into the back of his car and drove around the town.

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It was not until his father raised concerns that he reported it to the police.

Mr Ehlert, who has a three-year-old daughter and looks after his 24-year-old handicapped brother, said: "It was about 11.45am and I went out and got in the car and reversed the car out of the garden when I went over something big.

"I got out and had a look and I didn't realise it was a bomb. I chucked it on the back seat of the car and drove to my dad's, who said it could be a bomb, but, as you do, I didn't listen to my dad.

"I drove to Queensway shops and came back here and put it in the extension of the house. I spoke to my dad again, who came round to have a proper look and he said it could be live as there's a pin sticking out of it so I took it down the garden and called the police."

Mr Ehlert believes a passer-by dumped the practice missile in his garden.

He said: "When I realised what it could be it was pretty scary. The policeman on the phone said at first that it could be a cigarette lighter but as soon as they saw it they got on the radio and said "we are treating this as serious as it could be a bomb".

"It shook me up afterwards, especially as I had it in the car and it fell off and landed on the back of my seat."

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