Mortar bomb found in house

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 13:58 14/12/2012

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Neighbours of a Hamilton house where an old mortar bomb was found have been evacuated.

A bomb squad is on the way from Auckland after home renovators uncovered what police believe to be a mortar bomb beneath a Willoughby St propertery.

Police spokesman Andrew McAlley said they were unsure if the weapon was a practice round or live, leading to the bomb squad being called as a precaution.

Paul Cooper, principal at Whitiora School was at the scene to ensure the safetey of his students, luckily none of which live in the cordoned area.

"We just checked our roll and we don't have anyone living in that area, so we're okay. We have a couple of children that could walk along that way but we'll channel them along Abbotsford and down to Ulster so we should be okay," he said.

"There's not too much of a concern now, we are outside the cordon, we're safe, the kids are safe, so it's good."

Andre Roberts has been a resident in the cordoned area for a year and was the only one home when the police came knocking, asking for him to evacuate the area, and was waiting out the operation in a nearby park.

"They just knocked on our door and said there was a mortar in there, so we were just asked to go behind the cop cars and stay back. I'm not too worried, they look like they've got it pretty under control so I'll just wait it out. My flatmates are all at work at the moment, so they're all safe," he said.

Earlier Inspector Matt Sillars from Police northern communications said:

"As a matter of precaution the bomb squad have been asked to check it out, but it doesn't appear to be a safety concern

However, police at the scene said given the nature of the device they were staying clear until the bomb squad cleared the risk.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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