Portsmouth bomb squad recover mustard gas bombs

ROYAL Navy divers from Portsmouth have spent eight days helpingpolice in Lincolnshire with the recovery of First World War mustard gas bombs.

Wednesday, 18th October 2017, 1:48 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 11:05 pm
One of the Portsmouth divers going through decontamination. Picture: Royal Navy

A team of seven specialists from Southern Diving Unit Two has been recovering the bombs, after they were found in the bottom of a lake outside the village of Woodhall Spa, south east of Lincoln.

After using sonar to map the lake, the team put on chemical suits to recover 10 chemical bombs, each weighing 2.7kg.

If disturbed, the bombs can inflict minor burns and cause breathing problems.

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Box containing five mustard gas bombs. Picture: Royal Navy

This happened to two bottle diggers who found two shells containing the gas.

Petty Officer (Diver) ‘Chuck’ Norris said: ‘With reports of other people suffering from mustard agent poisoning, full bio-hazard precautions were taken – diving in a chemical environment wearing cumbersome personal protection equipment, then undergoing full decontamination at every stage.

‘The bombs themselves were British and well over 70 years old – the UK no longer uses chemical or biological weapons.’

The 10 bombs have now been handed over to Lincolnshire police, which is now investigating how the chemical weapons arrived at the beauty spot – which was once the site of RAF Woodhall Spa.

Box containing five mustard gas bombs. Picture: Royal Navy