Bedfordshire Police probes ironworks explosives mix-up

Bomb disposal experts at the scene Image copyright British Ironworks Centre
Image caption Bomb disposal experts descended on the British Ironworks Centre following the discovery of explosives

Police are investigating whether they are responsible for sending explosives in a bundle of knives destined for a sculpture at a tourist attraction.

The British Ironworks Centre was sealed off after the explosive was discovered at the bottom of a pile of metal.

Bedfordshire Police said a centre worker had picked up knives which had been placed in an amnesty bin.

The weapons had been collected by forces nationwide to help the centre create a "knife angel" sculpture.

The attraction in Oswestry, Shropshire, was evacuated on Thursday after the explosive Gelamex was discovered and a controlled explosion was carried out by the Ministry of Defence.

A statement from Bedfordshire Police said: "We are aware of reports that suspected explosives were found in amongst a large amount of knives that had been donated to the Ironworks Centre.

"Bedfordshire Police was one of the locations visited by a representative from the Ironworks Centre on Tuesday to collect the knives that had been placed in the knife bins following a recent knife surrender.

"We were alerted by the centre that suspected explosives had been found and we are looking into whether they originated from us."

Image caption When finished the sculpture will be 20ft (6m) high

The centre, which is also home to the Shropshire Sculpture Park, had asked police forces across the UK to send weapons to them to form part of the sculpture, which will be 20ft (6m) high when complete.

Tens of thousands of knives have been donated already, with 100,000 needed to finish it.

The centre was open as normal on Friday.

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