Drama after unexploded wartime bomb discovered in Portsmouth Harbour

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BOMB experts were called in this morning after a rare unexploded torpedo was discovered on the sea bed off Portsmouth Harbour.

Police sealed off up to 500 metres of the area after the device, dating from the Second World War, was found at around 5am.

Investigations meant train and ferry services were postponed.

Despite reports, the Royal Navy says port area remained open to normal ferry traffic, though there was disruption caused to journeys, with some cancellations.

The torpedo was towed away from the harbour where bomb detonators carried out a controlled explosion.

A Royal Navy spokesman said the device was found on the seabed whilst contractors Boskalis Westminster UK were carrying out dredging works in the harbour ahead of the arrival of the navy’s new 65,000 tonne state-of-the-art HMS Queen Elizabeth next spring.

The 4ft long bomb was safely detonated off the Isle of Wight at 8.45am.

A Wightlink Ferries statement said: ‘The 06:00 car ferry sailing from Portsmouth Gunwharf and 07:00 from Fishbourne were cancelled along with the 06.15 catamaran from Portsmouth Harbour and 06.47 from Ryde Pier Head.

‘The port re-opened at 06.25 and services have now resumed as normal with the delayed 07.00 St Clare sailing from Portsmouth Gunwharf.

‘Wightlink apologises for this delay to its sailings this morning.’