A huge evacuation alert was sparked when a grenade was found during a house clearance, the M.E.N. can reveal.
Dozens of residents were told to leave their homes and nearby shops were closed as police, bomb disposal experts, firefighters and paramedics were called to assess the scene in New Moston, north Manchester, on Thursday. Police later confirmed the grenade – which they described as ‘viable’ – was discovered in a garden on Norville Avenue, a small cul-de-sac.
Workers clearing the house after the owner sadly passed away found the device and raised the alarm. The ordnance was later confirmed to be a ‘training device’ which didn’t contain explosives or a detonator. They are used for instruction in military circles and typically produce a flash and a bang to replicate a real-life explosion in training scenarios.
Residents have told how they were evacuated for around three hours before the all-clear was given. They said removal vans were outside the property concerned before the alert was first issued at around 10.30am.
One resident said they were told to gather at the nearby St Margaret Mary RC Church and the Londis store around the corner was also sealed off in the drama.
She said: “They knocked on every single door and told every single person to go. People complained but the police said they wouldn’t be doing it unless it was really important. We didn’t really know what happened.