The controlled explosion at the BAE Systems site. Picture courtesy of Ramora UK.
A SECOND World War pipe mine has been detonated in a controlled explosion, but plans to detonate a second have been put on hold to avoid damaging nearby businesses.
The mines were discovered earlier this year at the BAE Systems site, near the Somerton industrial estate, during geological surveys to pave the way for the new Aldi supermarket development.
Following the erection of a 200 metre cordon around the site over the weekend, and road closures overnight, the area was excavated and one of the mines was destroyed as planned by disposal experts Ramora UK.
The other, however, was around two metres larger than expected and bowed in the middle, and it was feared detonating it could cause damage to nearby businesses.
BAE Systems external communications manager Natalie Culver said: "The mine that was safely detonated was actually considered to be more risky because it was located quite close to a gas main, but it was absolutely fine.
"Gas readings taken before and after the detonation show the removal of the mine has caused no leaks or issues to the gas supply.
"The situation with the other mine is more complex. It's much larger than we thought and, because of the pressure caused by low cloud cover over the weekend, it was feared a controlled explosion could blow out the windows of nearby businesses.
"It has to be safety first, so we have postponed the detonation of the second mine while further ground works are carried out.
"We are working with the Isle of Wight Council to find a suitable time to remove the mine, which will be done as soon as possible."
Video courtesy of Ramora UK.
The controlled explosions. Pictures courtesy of Ramora UK.