Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 14:21 UK

World War II bomb dug up by pigs

Farmer Cameron Naughton with a piglet and the remains of the bomb
Farmer Cameron Naughton rang the bomb disposal experts

A World War II shell which was dug up by a herd of pigs in Wiltshire has been detonated by experts from the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Regiment.

The pigs made the discovery at West End Farm, near Bishops Cannings late on Thursday afternoon.

Farm worker John Russ noticed the tail fin of the device, which was about 1ft long, sticking out of the ground.

"In the '60s I was in the TA and we used things like that so I recognised it as a mortar shell," he said.

Not safe

"I saw there was a striker on the front so I thought it was probably live so I didn't touch it," he said.

"I told Cameron (Naughton who owns the farm) and he took it from there," said Mr Russ.

Capt Joe Brown of 11 Explosives Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, said they had to pad the shell with additional explosives to force it to explode in a particular way.

"It was in a state that means it was not safe to move so we set up some donor explosives onto it, initiated them and caused it to function in a controlled manner," said Capt Brown.

Police closed off the stretch of road from the Blacklands turn off on the A361 at Devizes to the A4 at Calne until 0900 BST.

Diversions were put in place to see commuters through the rush hour.



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