Gunwharf Quays had to be evacuated on Friday 30th September following the discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb that was found on the seabed.
The popular shopping complex, which sits next to the Portsmouth Harbour, asked businesses and shoppers to leave the area due to the risk that the unexploded device posed.
Routine dredging work was being carried out on Thursday morning when the antiquated World War Two explosive was discovered. The bomb, which weighed 500kg (1,100lb), was safely dealt with by the Royal Navy who preceded to tow the bomb to open waters approximately 1.5 miles way.
Once in open waters, the Navy attempted to detonate the explosive but the device turned out to be inactive. If the bomb had been exploded successfully, witnesses would have been treated to a plume of water and an exciting explosion.
Following the limp attempt at detonating the rusting munition, specialist divers were sent to investigate. They found that the Navy’s device had successfully detonated, but the World War Two bomb appeared to be a dud.
Dredging work at the harbour entrance has been taking place in order to deepen the bed, so that the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth can dock next spring.
The disruption to Gun Wharf Quays caused many businesses a loss in trade. One such business, Tiger Tiger Nightclub, was forced to evacuate at vast expense. Speaking in the Portsmouth News, the club manager Dan Swann, has estimated that closing on that particular night cost the business a whopping £50,000 in lost revenue.
Speaking to the News he said: “The start of the university term, the launch of our new restaurant menu and the fact this was one of our biggest nights of the week will have had a huge impact at a crucial time of the year, so we are now going to be working very hard to catch up over the forthcoming weeks.”
At the start of September, previous dredging work in the harbour discovered an unexploded German torpedo. However, this particular weapon was successfully blown up by navy EOD experts in open water.