Hampshire & Isle of Wight

War mines cleared from Isle of Wight gas pipe site

A World War II pipe mine found close to the Isle of Wight's main gas pipe has been safely removed.

The device was one of two discovered at BAE Systems' Cowes site, which was part of a military airfield - RAF Somerton - during the war.

A 200m cordon was put in place before it was removed and detonated earlier.

Gas readings taken before and after the detonation showed that it had not caused any leaks or other problems.

Enemy invasion

During the excavation of the second pipe mine, the team discovered that it was about 2m (6.5ft) larger than expected and that it bowed in the middle.

Further ground works will now need to be carried out before it can be removed.

The two pipe mines were discovered during a geophysical survey which was carried out in order that the land could be sold for commercial use.

BAE Systems, custodians of the land, dealt with the removal with help from bomb disposal experts, police and council officials.

The pipe mines were laid during the war so that the airfield could be rendered unusable in the event of enemy invasion.