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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Live mine detonated at Daedalus
Mine detonated at HMS Daedalus
The mine was detonated at HMS Daedalus on Tuesday
A live mine has been detonated at the HMS Daedalus site as part of the project to remove World War II pipe bombs from the former airfield.

Up to 3,000 people had been asked to stay away from their Lee-on-the-Solent homes for an extra day on Tuesday after the operation was extended.

The Hampshire homes are to be evacuated every Monday over a five-week period.

The Army carried out the controlled detonation at the former airfield on Tuesday afternoon.

The evacuation order was lifted overnight, but resumed at 0930 BST, after the operation to remove a live mine overran.

Community centres

Several roads had been closed and a 820-yard (750m) exclusion zone incorporating about 900 homes was put in place as a safety measure.

A council spokesman said the area should re-open as planned following the controlled detonation on Tuesday afternoon.

Arial photograph of HMS Daedalus airfield
The mines would have been detonated in case of invasion

Reception centres have been set up for residents at Lee-on-the-Solent Community Centre and Crofton Community Centre in Stubbington.

People who have decided to stay at home during the evacuations have been asked by police to sign a disclaimer to say they understand the risks. The pipe bombs are being removed from five sites under the former airfield, which lies between Southampton and Portsmouth.

The bombs have been buried there since 1939, when they were planted so the airfield could be destroyed in the event of a German invasion.

Ian Hoult, emergency planner for Hampshire County Council, told BBC News: "Everything went superbly last week."

He said the bombs being dug up this week included the live mine.

HMS Daedalus, which makes up 256 acres (104 hectares), is one of the largest potential-development sites on the Solent.

Mass evacuation for bomb removal
25 Sep 06 |  Hampshire
Mass evacuation to remove bombs
24 Sep 06 |  Hampshire
Large bomb found at ex-Navy base
22 Apr 06 |  Hampshire

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