Dad And Son Moments Away From Explosion After Mistaking Discarded WW1 Grenade For Turtle In Somerset
A dad and his five-year-old son had a lucky escape when a ‘turtle’ they found while out walking actually turned out to be a WW1 hand grenade.
Louie Lomas, 29, and his son Lockley spotted the 100-year-old explosive on their daily walk by a river near their house in Taunton, Somerset, with the young boy at first attempting to pick it up.
Although initially thinking it was a turtle, ex-circus performer Louie managed to pick up his son before he made contact with the grenade – saving them both from a potential explosion.
The quick-thinking professional juggler immediately rang the police, who arrived within 10 minutes.
According to Louie, the grenade was sitting on the floor ‘right by [their] feet’ as they walked along the river where they usually go for their local walk.
‘Lockley did try to pick it up and I had to grab him very quickly,’ Louie explained, saying he received ‘a bit of a shock’ when he realised what the object actually was. Initially though, he did think: ‘What’s a turtle doing in the ground here?’
Luckily, Louie quickly came to the conclusion that their discovery wasn’t a harmless turtle but was, in fact, an extremely dangerous explosive. ‘It was pretty obvious what it was so I wasn’t going to mess around,’ he said.
Police arrived at the scene quickly, although Louie said further panic ensued when officers accidentally parked on the bridge right on top of the grenade.
The father explained:
When the police arrived, they actually came and parked on top of it by accident… When they asked where it was and I told them they’d just parked right on top of it, they freaked out, jumped us into the back of the car and sped to the end of the road, which was a dead end.
So then we kind of had to drive back over it again. Luckily we were in the middle of nowhere with no houses within 100 meters. Apparently it was still live, according to the bomb squad. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see it explode.
Louie and Lockley were kept on site until a bomb squad arrived, which later detonated the device.
He described it as a ‘hectic’ day, and one that only got more hectic when they returned home and told Lockley’s mum what had happened. ‘The look on [her] face when we got back – it freaked her right out,’ he said.
I can only imagine. What a lucky escape.
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