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Controlled explosions free Devon see defences of gelignite

A ROYAL Ordnance bomb disposal squad has carried out 11 controlled explosions after gelignite was found in rock armour sea defences at Beesands beach near Kingsbridge, south Devon.

Undetonated quarry explosive was discovered on Sunday by walkers. Three controlled explosions were carried out on Sunday and another eight on Monday.

Ordnance has carried out a search of the 500m long rock revetment and declared it safe, said an Environment Agency spokeswoman.

Around 50,000t of rock armour was imported from quarries in France and Sweden. The source of the rock containing the gelignite was unclear as NCE went to press.

The controlled explosion split some of the rocks, weighing between 4t and 7t each, but the integrity of the defence has not been compromised, said the Agency spokeswoman.

No damage was done to the reinforced concrete wave return wall behind the revetment or to nearby houses.

The £1.8M wall was completed in 1992 by contractor Costain and was designed by Posford Duvivier.

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