Police NZDF unable to remove Epsom backyard bomb, will return morning

Source: 1News

Police and NZDF bomb disposal experts have stood down their efforts to remove an old bomb discovered in an Epsom backyard late Thursday evening but have vowed to return Friday morning.

Residents of the wealthy Auckland street were evacuated after an old mortar shell was dug up at a property on Pukenui Rd shortly after 5pm on Thursday.

Around eight properties were evacuated while the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit worked to remove the possibly explosive device.

READ MORE: Auckland street evacuated after old bomb dug up in backyard

And while earlier in the evening Police Shift Duty Inspector Dan Weir told 1News NZDF personnel were working to get everyone home for the evening - but sometime before 10pm, according to a police statement, the NZDF bomb crew at the scene decided to call it a night.

"The EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit were unable to remove the item this evening," said a police spokesperson.

Police at Pukenui Rd, Epsom.

"However precautions have been put in place to mitigate any risk."

Those living on the property where the bomb was discovered would be put in temporary accommodation but all other residents could now return home.

The bomb site would be under guard overnight.

Police said cordons would be back up tomorrow morning when the EOD unit returns to remove the backyard bomb.