Dozens of people were evacuated from their homes and offices when a suspected unexploded Second World War bomb was discovered by workmen.
The bomb disposal unit was called after the rocket-like explosive was unearthed during clearance work at a disused factory site off Engine Lane in Lye. The overgrown land was formerly used by stationery firm Helix.
Police immediately closed the lane and cordoned off a 330ft area around the suspected bomb following its discovery at 10.30am yesterday. Shocked residents and office workers were told to clear the area as an army bomb disposal unit from Hereford was called.
Vicky Farmer, manager at Mobilers Insurances Services, based at John Garth House offices in Engine Lane, was told to evacuate her workers by police.
She said: “They came in and said everyone needed to leave immediately – I then looked outside and there were police cordoning off the road.
“They said the bomb could have a 100-metre blast and if it went off it could break the windows to our cars at the front of the offices. After an hour they then made the cordoned off area smaller, they told me they didn’t think the bomb had a detonator. We then saw a man carrying the bomb under his arm down the road.”
She added: “It was all a a big shock – we were told it could be a Second World War bomb.
“People were also worried about their cars because they couldn’t take them away.”
Following the road reopening, the firm’s workers returned to the office for the afternoon.
Lisa Bradley, who lives opposite the site where the bomb was found, was told to leave her home with her two children.
She said: “We saw the police turn up and thought someone had broken into the land opposite. Then they told us a bomb had been found and we needed to leave – we couldn’t even stand around and see what was happening, we had to go.”
A railway line runs adjacent to the land the bomb was found on, causing train services to be affected between Stourbridge Junction and Rowley Regis, with up to 30 minute delays reported.
Catherine Hickman, spokesman for West Midland Police, said: “Police were called to a building site in Engine Lane, Lye after workmen unearthed a suspected unexploded bomb. The device was removed and the site reopened at 12.20pm.”