Locals can go home after bomb scare

RESIDENTS evacuated amid a bomb scare in Essex will be able to return to their homes tonight.

James Hore

RESIDENTS evacuated amid a bomb scare in Essex will be able to return to their homes tonight.

Locals had to leave their homes in Banters Lane, Great Leighs, yesterday afternoon after a householder unearthed two World War Two incendiary devices in his garden.

The police were called in and then a bomb disposal team, who cordoned off the area.

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But today the Ministry of Defence concluded that the situation was not dangerous and it was left to local authorities to manage.

Chelmsford Borough Council has said tonight that there is no explosive hazard and the canisters are now empty, meaning residents can return home.

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The canisters are still being assessed by council officers to ensure there is no contamination of the land.

A spokeswoman for the council said discussions were ongoing to determine who was responsible for the clean-up costs.

She added that environmental services had been working alongside the landowner to ensure the area is cordoned off.

“There are discussions about who is responsible because there is the suggestion that the Home Guard made the problem by dumping the canisters so the landowner is suggesting it is the military's responsibility to deal with it,” she explained.

“We have been talking with the landowner who has been advised to take protective measures to cordon the area off and put up warning signs.

“It is important that it is made safe so there are no more incidents or problems.

“We are trying to work out who technically is responsible because it comes down to the issue of the costs of the clear-up.”

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