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Perth auctioneer says bomb scare was like episode of Dad’s Army

Perth auctioneer says bomb scare was like episode of Dad’s Army

An unexploded wartime bomb sparked an explosives alert at a Perth auction house.

Staff at Lindsay Burns and Co raised the alarm when they found a suspicious green, metal cylinder in among a box of stock from an estate clearance.

They identified the device as an incendiary bomb from the Second World War.

Police threw a cordon around the King Street building and advised auctioneers to take the item to a safe place outside.

An army bomb disposal crew came from Edinburgh to collect the foot-long shell. They took it to a remote Perthshire location where it was safely destroyed.

It is believed the bomb had originally been dropped by a Nazi warplane but failed to go off.

It was among a collection of military items, including old uniforms.

Auctioneer Nick Burns, who described the incident as like an episode of Dad’s Army, told staff not to panic. “I said to everyone: ‘Keep calm and carry on.’

“We had been going through a box of items from a recent estate clearance when we saw this long, green cylinder.

“Obviously, it was a bit of a surprise. We had an idea what it was and using our knowledge of armoury we were able to identify it as a Second World War incendiary device.

“I don’t know how it got into this collection in the first place, but there were a lot of other military items alongside it so perhaps it had once belonged to a keen collector of war memorabilia.”

He said: “It appears that it was a failed bomb dropped by the Germans. We didn’t think there was any real risk, but we didn’t want to take any chances and called the police.

“Following their advice, we took it outside and created a safety zone at the side of the building. We placed it on an old piece of furniture so that it stayed dry and we made sure that nobody went near it.

“We were never advised to carry out an evacuation.”

Police taped off the entrance to the venue while the bomb squad were called in.

They arrived at about 3.45pm and calmly picked up the device, before driving off.

Mr Burns said: “It was strange because we had just been talking about the new Dad’s Army film. It reminded me of one of those episodes.

“We’ve had bullets and things like that before, but we know we can take them to the police. I didn’t fancy putting an unexploded bomb in my car and driving it to the police station.”

He gave assurances that there was never a risk to the public.

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