Bomb squad called after suspected grenade found in Hitchin

Police officers reported to the Chevronic Centre on Wilbury Way, Hitchin, after the owner found a suspected grenade

Police officers reported to the Chevronic Centre on Wilbury Way, Hitchin, after the owner found a 1930s Japanese Type 97 grenade - Credit: Rob Moss

An area of Hitchin was evacuated yesterday afternoon (Monday, May 10) after a suspected World War II grenade was found in an industrial estate.

Rob Moss, who owns the Chevronic Centre on Wilbury Way, told the Comet that he'd bought a load of Citroen parts on Sunday from north London.

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s - Credit: Rob Moss

He said: "I was just going through the parts and buried in one of the boxes was what looks like a 1930s Japanese grenade."

Initially thinking it was a replica or a fake, Rob called 101. After sending the authorities pictures of his findings, the police immediately arrived on scene.

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s - Credit: Rob Moss

The grenade remained on site, with the police awaiting the bomb disposal unit.


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A Herts police spokesperson said: "Police are currently at the scene of a suspected World War II grenade in Wilbury Way, Hitchin.

"The area has been evacuated and officers are awaiting the arrival of the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) team.

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s

The device, which was found in Hitchin this afternoon, is suspected to be a Japanese Type 97 grenade dating from the 1930s - Credit: Rob Moss

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"Members of the public are asked to please avoid the area."

Rob added that although he has found some "weird and wonderful" things in his time, he admitted this was the first time he'd ever found a potentially explosive device.

"I thought there was a possibility that it's not an original, but of course you never really know and you want to be cautious!"

Marvelling at his discovery, Rob assumes it was laying dormant in storage for over four decades.

Police later confirmed that the EOD arrived at 4.45pm, concluded that the grenade was not active and lifted the cordon on the area.

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