An estate agent’s office and several surrounding buildings had to be evacuated last week after a hand grenade was discovered in its basement.
Staff at Cole’s Estate Agents in East Grinstead, West Sussex, had been in the process of moving to new premises when the device, lodged under a pipe, was discovered just before 1pm last week, on December 29.
A military Explosive Ordnance Disposal team had to be called in to deal with the grenade, which was later determined not to be live.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Shortly before 1pm on Thursday, police were informed that a hand grenade had been found in the basement of an estate agents’ office in High Street, East Grinstead, while staff were engaged in moving to new premises.
“The weapon was lodged beneath a pipe. Its safety pin was reported to still be in place and a photograph of the grenade was emailed to military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts to assist with identification.
“Meanwhile the building and adjoining properties were evacuated and a safety cordon established outside pending the arrival of EOD personnel.
“They were able to establish it was not live and removed it for disposal.
“Emergency services stood down at around 3.40pm.”
John Pye, owner of The Bookshop next door to Cole’s Estate Agents, told www.kentlive.news: “Cole’s Estate Agency were actually moving out that day and were swapping places with Tax for Today in London Road.
“Tax for Today had gone into the basement, where they discovered the grenade and then rang police.”