Wartime mine blown up by Portsmouth-based Royal Navy experts

KA-BOOM The huge water column when the Second World War bomb was exploded
KA-BOOM The huge water column when the Second World War bomb was exploded

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EXPLOSIVE experts from the navy in Portsmouth blew up a huge German mine in the River Thames yesterday.

The 1,500lb Second World War GC mine was caught in the nets of a fishing boat in the Thames Estuary.

A team of bomb disposal experts from Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2), based at Horsea Island, towed the mine using a rigid inflatable boat to a location six miles off the coast of Sheerness.

The first attempt at detonating it was thwarted after the countermining charge misfired.

But a second attempt yesterday morning exploded the device, shooting sea spray up into the air.

Lieutenant Dan Herridge, the officer commanding SDU2, said : ‘Due to the amount of high explosive in the mine, which posed a significant risk to public safety, it was necessary for the mine to be lifted and taken to a safe location to be dealt with.’

GC mines were usually dropped on land by parachutes.