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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Army disposal squad called after bomb find prompts evacuation

Police cordoned off a main Cockermouth road after a World War Two bomb was “found” in the town's auction house.

At 9.36am today, staff at Mitchells Auction Rooms alerted police that an “old ordnance relic” had been found.

The firm's drivers had picked up the relic as part of a house clearance in Whitehaven and it was only discovered when staff began sorting through boxes.

Police acted immediately and the building were evacuated as a precaution. Station Road and Lorton Street were closed to traffic while officers awaited the arrival of the bomb squad from Catterick.

A spokesman said there was no risk to the public.

Motorists were asked to avoid the area.

Valerie Hall, 76, of Strawberry How Road, was shopping in the town’s Sainsbury’s store when the auctioneers was evacuated.

“It is quite a shock for a quiet town like Cockermouth. There was a bit of confusion when everyone was evacuated and lots of activity.”

Michael Dalton, 58, of Lorton Road, said: “I heard police vehicles and a lot of activity while I was in town and was amazed to find the area around Mitchells cordoned off.”

Sarah Langdon, of Castlegate Drive, added: “It was quite exciting but also slightly worrying that we didn’t know what was going on until the bomb disposal team turned up, although people were saying it’s an unexploded device.”

The bomb disposal team took the item away at about 12noon. It was not thought to be live.

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