Bomb squad blows up World War Two shell found in Northamptonshire river

Magnet anglers fish out explosive device near Welford

Monday, 29th March 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 10:54 am
Magnet anglers trawled this World War Two shell out of the River Avon on Saturday lunchtime. Photo: @NptonResponse

Bomb disposal experts blew up a World War Two mortar shell in the Northamptonshire countryside after treasure hunters found more than they bargained for.

Magnet fishermen hooked the 18lb shell out of the River Avon near Welford at around 1pm on Saturday (March 27).

Northamptonshire Police quickly summoned the bomb squad to the spot, between Stanford-on-Avon and South Kilworth, who carried out a controlled explosion.

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Magnet fishing — where people hunt for metal submerged in canals and rivers — is increasing in popularity, with thousands uploading videos of their finds on YouTube, including former England and Northampton rugby star James Haskell.

But there are stark warnings to be heard over this potentially dangerous hobby.

Northamptonshire Police said that although there are no laws against magnet fishing, they would ask fishers to exercise "due care" when handling objects — such as unexploded bombs.

"They can be extremely dangerous, as well as resource-intensive for our response officers."

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