WASP Monitors Spaghetti Junction After Discovery Of WW2 Bomb
Firefighters deployed the WASP to monitor Spaghetti Junction after the discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb.
Two WASP units were strapped to columns at the M6 interchange by West Midlands Tech Rescue team as bomb disposal experts prepared to detonate the huge unexploded bomb.
They wanted to ensure the structure of the motorway columns remained unaffected by the controlled detonation of the WW2 bomb.
The WASP, or Warning Alarm for Stability Protection, provides early warning of movement and vibration.
Major Mike Luedicke, who coordinated the operation, says the German bomb contains 130kg of high explosives.
The army experts built a protective ‘sand igloo’ consisting of more than 250 tonnes of sand but the fears of possible damage to nearby infrastructure.
The WW2 bomb was found in Priory Road, close to the Aston Express Way and M6 exit on Spaghetti Junction and Cross City line.
Spaghetti Junction has 559 concrete columns, some reaching to 80 feet high and has been a vital part of the UK infrastructure for more than 45 years.
The bomb was discovered on Monday sparking travel chaos as roads and rail lines were closed and residents evacuated.
The 500lb shell was detonated after 24 hours painstaking work by the army, police and firefighters, around 15.45 this afternoon.
Giant plumes of dark smoke filled the air and the explosion was heard as far away as Sutton Coldfield.
The M6 was closed in both directions – a stretch of 13 miles of motorway – to keep the route clear whilst trains from Lichfield to Birmingham New Street were cancelled.
Historians believe the bomb was dropped during two nights of devastation over November 19 and 20, 1940 during a devasting German blitz which focused on the area.
It is not the first time the WASPs has been deployed to provide movement and vibration monitoring of road infrastructure.
Kent Fire used the WASP to monitor for the remaining half of a pedestrian bridge which collapsed onto the M20 last year.
Images credit Shammi Rana
Video: Birmingham Mail