Students in bomb drama

SCORES of students were evacuated from their classrooms after contractors completing a new extension unearthed a First World War shell in the arm of their digger.

SCORES of students were evacuated from their classrooms after contractors completing a new extension unearthed a First World War shell in the arm of their digger.

Officers from the bomb disposal squad at Colchester Barracks were called to the West Suffolk College, in Bury St Edmunds, shortly before midday yesterdayafter workmen discovered the 2lb explosive while excavating a tree stump.

Engineering, art and humanities students were evacuated and told to take an "extended lunch break" as the area around the site – formerly an old barracks – was cordoned off until experts arrived and removed the shell.

"There was no big drama," said college principal Dr Ann Williams.


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"The bomb squad picked up the shell by hand and x-rayed it, but it was not full of explosives. Apparently these shells are not uncommon, and are often found in the local fields and are brought up with sugar beet.

"After the bomb squad took the shell away, students were allowed back into college straight away. We were told we had taken the right precautions."

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Students returned to class shortly before 2pm, after the shell had been removed from the site.

Work on the college extension, to be named Minden House, will continue, and is due for completion next week.

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