Mystery remains over hand grenade detonated in Widnes Cemetery, Birchfield Road
AN ARMY bomb squad detonated a hand grenade found by a workman at Widnes Cemetery.
A groundsman had found the Second World War weapon while digging at the cemetery on Birchfield Road at about 4pm.
Police cordoned off the area until explosives experts carried out a controlled explosion in earth some distance away from the rows of plots at 7pm.
An officer said the bomb squad was unable to work out whether the device was still 'live' and decided to detonate it as a precaution.
He added that part of the grenade had corroded and that its inside was exposed.
A Halton Borough Council spokesman said nobody knows why the grenade was in the ground.
A groundsman, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Weekly News the grenade was not found in a grave, but was buried in land within the cemetery perimeter.
Viv Greason, of nearby Little Stoke Close, said she had sat down for dinner with daughter Lynne and grandson Harry when she heard the explosion.
She said: "We heard a terrific bang, came down to investigate and were told there was a grenade. We spoke to one lad who felt the explosion on the Balmoral Estate."
A Halton Council spokesman said: "The hand grenade, a WW2 pineapple type, was unearthed by grave diggers. Promptly spotting it for what it was, they alerted other staff and members of the public and cleared the area.
"The police were informed, as was the council's emergency planning department.
"An Army bomb disposal unit arrived and isolated the grenade before performing a controlled explosion."