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Second World War-era bomb safely detonated at sea after one of the largest peacetime evacuations in U.K. history

In this photo provided by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team leave the slip to Torpoint Ferry as they dispose of the WWII bomb discovered in Keyham in Plymouth, England. Britain's Ministry of Defense says a World War II-era bomb whose discovery prompted one of the largest peacetime evacuations in British history has been detonated at sea. The 1,100-pound explosive was discovered Tuesday in the backyard of a home in Plymouth, a port city on the southwestern coast of Britain. (LPhot Barry Swainsbury/Ministry of Defence via AP) In this photo provided by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team leave the slip to Torpoint Ferry as they dispose of the WWII bomb discovered in Keyham in Plymouth, England. Britain's Ministry of Defense says a World War II-era bomb whose discovery prompted one of the largest peacetime evacuations in British history has been detonated at sea. The 1,100-pound explosive was discovered Tuesday in the backyard of a home in Plymouth, a port city on the southwestern coast of Britain. (LPhot Barry Swainsbury/Ministry of Defence via AP)
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A Second World War-era bomb whose discovery prompted one of the largest peacetime evacuations in British history has been detonated at sea, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said on Saturday.

The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) explosive was discovered Tuesday in the backyard of a home in Plymouth, a port city on the southwestern coast of Britain. More than 10,000 residents were evacuated to ensure their safety as a military convoy transported the unexploded bomb through a densely populated residential area to a ferry slipway, from which it was taken out to sea.

“I think it is fair to say that the last few days will go down in history for Plymouth,” said Tudor Evans, the leader of Plymouth City Council.

Plymouth, home to major naval bases for centuries, was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Britain during the World War II. Fifty-nine separate air raids killed 1,174 civilians, according to local officials. The raids destroyed almost 3,800 homes, and heavily damaged another 18,000.

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