Pevensey, England – A repair work in a bridge in Pevensey, East Sussex, England turned into a conceivably explosive drama when local farmers warned workers about possible WWII pipe mines still buried within the work area.
Contractors were about to carry on refurbishing works on the Rickney Bridge in the said locality when the farmers told them about rumors of the WWII pipe mines.
Not wanting to put any of the workers’ lives at risk over these vintage WWII pipe mines, Stephen Cook, a bridge maintenance engineer working for the East Sussex County Council, called on the Ministry of Defense and the 1st Line Defense who are mine experts. The latter promptly did a survey in the said area.
After the said inspection, MOD advised the bridge refurbishing team to change the bank supports they used. Instead of using steel sheet piles as supports, they were told to use heavy duty sandbags. Moreover, a group of divers was also assigned to assist the lowering of these sandbags into place.
To date, the said area has already been appraised as low risk. Repair works have already resumed with the water under the bridge pumped away.
In line of this, Stephen Cook has assured the public that the area is danger-free already and every measure is made to minimize risks involved with the bridge refurbishment. However, because of the said unexpected events, the repairs have to be extended for two weeks after the predicted date of completion.
The said WWII pipe mines rumored to be in the area were laid during the summer of 1940. It was this time that Britain still stood alone against Nazi Germany and was under the constant threat of imminent invasion from both the air and sea.
The British government during that time was concerned that the Nazi forces would lay siege over Britain and its properties that those areas deemed vulnerable to the attacks were riddled with WWII pipe mines. In case the attacks did happen, these places would blow up and would be rendered unusable by the enemy.
As the attacks never came, the WWII pipe mines were eventually removed by the Canadian forces. Nevertheless, a number remained.