Expert Opinion for Sky News

As the Army announced its intention to remove the 500kg (SC500) unexploded bomb from a back garden in Plymouth on Friday 23rd of February and take it out to sea for detonation by Royal Navy divers, Igne provided round the clock support to Sky News including sending 2 explosive ordnance disposal experts to the studio.

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After an unexploded WWII bomb was found in a back garden in a heavily built up area in Plymouth on Tuesday 20th February 2024, Igne provided expert comment and opinion to multiple national news outlets to help the public understand why the bomb was there, and how it could be safely managed.

Igne provides subject matter experts to Britain's journalists

As 24 hour news relies so heavily on experts to add context to a story, Igne's explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) engineers were the ideal choice for journalists to speak to.  They gave calm, informed advice, helping to ensure the narrative remained accurate and did not inflame the concerning situation for affected residents.

Firstly, the BBC picked up on expert comment about why the bomb was found where it was, with background information provided about the bombing of Plymouth, its key infrastructure targets and why German airdropped ordnance from WWII had a failure rate of up to 10%. 

Regional media then cited Igne's EOD experts and historical analysts when discussing the prevalence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the UK, before Sky News producers called.

Within less than an hour of their call, Igne had collated and briefed multiple sources, ensuring they were all ready to speak on live television.

Former Army, Navy and RAF experts available for expert comment

Firstly, ex Royal Engineer Gary Liddle spoke from a bunker on location on the most heavily contaminated site Igne has ever worked on.  He explained the process his former colleagues would be going through to render the ordnance safe.

Thereafter, UXO Director Lucie Tiverrier was able to explain the legacy of ordnance from war and from military action (around 20% of the UK's landmass has been used by the military at some point - for training, stores, manufacture, disposal, testing, airfields, camps, bases, defences etc.,) meaning that even in the most rural parts of the UK, a range of British or US items of UXO can be found.

By giving this context, Lucie was able to explain why the UK's construction and infrastructure sectors rely on Igne to risk assess and survey their sites before they undertake intrusive ground works.

Lucie was followed by ex-Royal Navy diver Craig Tower who explained how the bomb would be taken out to sea for demolition.  He advised how it would be taken beyond the breakwater to a location where there was no marine infrastructure that could be damaged - such as pipelines for example.

He explained the process of lowering the ordnance carefully, diving on to it to place a charge, retreating and then blowing it up.

Igne live on Sky News

While these three Igne experts were speaking to Sky News presenter Kamali Melbourne, Igne's UXO Supervisors Dougie Martin and Matthew Shaw were driving 150 miles from site to studio...and after being greeted at the studio gates they were whisked into the studio to speak live first to Kamali and thereafter to Jonathan Samuels.

Ex-RAF EOD expert Dougie discussed different fuse mechanisms, how each type can fail and also how each can be rendered safe with techniques he and his colleagues learn at 'bomb school' ... before ex-Royal Engineer Matthew discussed the process of removing and transporting the bomb carefully through the streets of Plymouth.

As the footage of the bomb being driven through the eerily empty streets played out, both Dougie and Matthew calmly explained what was going on, how the military personnel would be thinking and feeling - before the presenter laughingly commented on their calm demeanour and lack of dramatic narrative.

We keep calm and communicate clearly!

Both Dougie and Matthew said "no, we don't do drama!" 

It is very reassuring to know that those who hold the safety of the nation in their hands, handling explosive ordnance - whether in the Army, Navy, RAF or at Igne - are able to stay so calm under pressure.

Igne has subject matter experts who can comment on matters pertaining to all aspects of:

  • Unexploded ordnance
  • Site investigation
  • Geothermal energy
  • Sustainable water supplies
  • Construction materials testing
  • Geo-environmental consultancy

Contact us today.