Former shipyard evacuated after possible Second World War bomb is found

Police investigate after potential Second World War was found in river Tyne and brought to Swan Hunters in Wallsend. Picture by John Tuttiett.
Police investigate after potential Second World War was found in river Tyne and brought to Swan Hunters in Wallsend. Picture by John Tuttiett.

A potential Second World War bomb has been found at the former Swan Hunters shipbuilding yard.

Police were called to the site in Wallsend at 11.30am this morning after reports of a munition being found.

Police investigate after potential Second World War was found in river Tyne and brought to Swan Hunters in Wallsend. Picture by John Tuttiett.

Police investigate after potential Second World War was found in river Tyne and brought to Swan Hunters in Wallsend. Picture by John Tuttiett.

It is believed the ‘bomb’ was discovered by workers dredging the river Tyne this morning, and brought to shore on a barge.

Staff have been evacuated from the area temporarily while investigations take place.

A police spokesperson said: “At 11.32am this morning police received reports of a possible World War II munition found at Swan Hunter in Wallsend.

“Staff at the site have been evacuated temporarily as a matter of precaution.

“Officers are currently on the scene.”

A HGV driver, who transports dredged materials away from the river, said he had arrived at 6am and his was one of around 10 wagons stopped from entering the site.

“We’ve been stopped from going down there because they said they may have found an unexploded bomb in the river,” he said.

“I’ve been waiting in the queue for ages. The lads on the weigh bridge said there’s been a three foot shell found. I haven’t seen anything myself, because they are preventing us from going down there from the top car park.”

Work is taking place at the former shipyard to transform it into a new business hub, attracting potential offshore businesses.