Fear in Fulwood as bomb maker remains loose days after Watling Street Road evacuated

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Fulwood residents say they are afraid to walk down the street after two grenade-like devices were planted outside a home this week - and the bomb-maker has yet to be caught.

Families were evacuated from their homes after the explosives were found outside an address in Watling Street Road at around 12.25pm on Tuesday.

Lancashire Police described them as ‘grenade-type devices’ and confirmed one was ‘viable’ - meaning it was capable of triggering an explosion. The other was not viable, said the force.

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The bomb squad - the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team - were called to the scene and the road taped off between Duchy Avenue and Fulwood Hall Lane.

Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could.Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could.
Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could. | Neil Cross

Around 69 homes were evacuated while the bomb squad safely detonated the viable explosive at the scene. The second device was taken away and destroyed in a controlled explosion at another location.

No one was injured, but the incident has left residents feeling nervous about the motive behind the scare. Why were explosive devices left outside the home? Who made them and planted them? Did they intend for them to explode? And could it happen again?

One mum-of-two who lives in a nearby street said she is now afraid to let her young children play out in the street.

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Aged in her 30s, she asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.

“Until they catch who did it, I’m not happy with my two playing out. I don’t think its safe,” she said.

“I think the police know more than they’re letting on. How can they say it’s safe and there’s no risk to us when they don’t even know who did it or why?

“How do they know it’s not terrorism? They don’t know anything from what they’ve told us. So how can we feel safe?

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“I can’t risk my little ones playing out and picking up a grenade or bomb. Not until we know more and the person is caught.”

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal arrived on the scene at around 2.30pm (Credit: Neil Cross)The Explosive Ordnance Disposal arrived on the scene at around 2.30pm (Credit: Neil Cross)
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal arrived on the scene at around 2.30pm (Credit: Neil Cross) | Neil Cross

Lancashire Police has remained tight-lipped about their investigation but confirmed no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified.

The force said enquiries are ongoing to establish a motive, and to confirm how and when the explosives were planted on the person’s property.

Residents were reportedly evacuated from their homes, according to eyewitness reports. Residents were reportedly evacuated from their homes, according to eyewitness reports.
Residents were reportedly evacuated from their homes, according to eyewitness reports. | Neil Cross

Cops rule out terrorism

Lancashire Police said the incident does not appear to be terror-related, without explaining why.

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The force said counter-terrorism police are not involved in the investigation and it does not believe there is any risk to the general public.

Detectives are confident the bomb scare was an ‘isolated incident’, but the motive remains unclear. Was the home targeted? Lancashire Police declined to comment.

When asked if the incident might be linked to a recent spate of arson attacks in the neighbouring Sharoe Green Lane area, detectives said they do not believe so.

Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could.Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could.
Officers thanked the public for their co-operation and said they would update them about the situation when they could. | Neil Cross

The arsonist has been torching parked cars since April and last week a house was targeted when a brick and accelerant were thrown through a window. No one has been arrested.

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Latest from Lancashire Police

A police spokesperson said: “We just wanted to update you on the latest on our investigation into the finding of two grenade-type devices in Preston.

“We were called to Watling Street Road, Fulwood, at around 12.25pm on Tuesday (18th June) to a report that the devices had been found close to an address.

“The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team were called, a cordon established, and a number of properties were evacuated.

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“A successful controlled explosion of one of the devices was carried out by the EOD at the scene, with the other device removed to a second location and a further controlled explosion taking place there.

“One of the items was found to be a viable explosive device, the other was not a viable explosive device.

A "suspicious package" was found on Watling Street Road on Tuesday. A cordon was subsequently put in place and residents were diverted away from the scene.A "suspicious package" was found on Watling Street Road on Tuesday. A cordon was subsequently put in place and residents were diverted away from the scene.
A "suspicious package" was found on Watling Street Road on Tuesday. A cordon was subsequently put in place and residents were diverted away from the scene. | Neil Cross

“You might see an increase in police in the area, including mounted officers and our mobile police station, and this is as reassurance and as part of our ongoing enquiries and this presence will continue for the coming days.

“If you have any information or concerns, please feel free to approach us.

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“We believe this was an isolated incident and at this stage we do not believe it is linked to any other investigations and we do not believe there is a risk to the general public.

“If you saw anything or unusual in the area yesterday, or have information which could assist our investigation, please call 101 – quoting log 0556 of 18th June 2024.”

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