Live Boer War bomb found in River Aire by magnet fishermen closes Leeds city centre roads for hours

Left: Magnet fishers Dave Pearce and Ian Platt. Right: The Boer War bomb.
Left: Magnet fishers Dave Pearce and Ian Platt. Right: The Boer War bomb.
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A Boer War bomb found in the River Aire has been taken away from the scene by bomb disposal experts.

The 18lb mortar was found by Dave Pearce, a magnet fisherman from Roundhay who was fishing under Crown Point Bridge in Leeds on Friday, March 29.

Army officials cutting through a gate to allow better access to the scene.

Army officials cutting through a gate to allow better access to the scene.

READ MORE: 'Get out of there!' - moment magnet fishers sparked chaos by reeling in unexploded bomb from Leeds River Aire
Initially Mr Pearce didn't realise what he had found and turned to the community of magnet fishers online who quickly identified the item.

Mr Pearce's friend Ian Platt, who was also fishing, said: "We posted the photos online and within two minutes he got a reply saying it’s probably a mortar bomb - get out of there.”

Police were called shortly after 11am and Crown Point Bridge and the stretch of canal underneath it, where the bomb was, were cordoned off.

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The bomb squad arrived at around 2.30pm and identified the device, previously thought to be from World War Two, as a live Boer War mortar.

The bomb was transported in this wagon filled with sandbags.

The bomb was transported in this wagon filled with sandbags.

The Boer War was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states between 1899 and 1902, making the device almost 120 years old.

After cutting through a gate to allow better access to the scene, Army officials then lifted the bomb into the back of a wagon filled with sandbags.

It was thought a controlled explosion would take place in situ however at 3.40pm, the mortar was driven away from the scene for a controlled explosion.

It was reported at the scene the bomb was taken to East End Park in Leeds to be disarmed.

A police cordon was put in place around the scene.

A police cordon was put in place around the scene.

West Yorkshire Police said on Twitter: "For those in the area of East End Park, Leeds: Within the next few minuets there will be a controlled explosion in the area.

"Do not panic. Police are aware and directly involved and dealing with the situation."