Gas cylinder mistaken for World War Two bomb on Sunderland beach

Police at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

Police at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

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A suspected unexploded World War Two bomb found on a Wearside beach sparked a seaside security alert - but turned out to be a dumped gas cylinder.

Police were called to Hendon Beach earlier today to carry out a search for the device, which had been spotted by visitors on the coast around half a mile beyond the end of the promenade, nestled in amongst rocks.

Eyewitness Andrew Robertson and dog Cas, at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

Eyewitness Andrew Robertson and dog Cas, at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

The area was scoured as the tide went out, following the report which was made last night.

Members of the public helped police find the metal object, with a photo of it sent to Army bomb disposal experts to clarify whether it was a bomb or not.

After several hours, confirmation came through it was a gas cylinder - one of several found along that section of the coast in recent years.

But Northumbria Police and HM Coastguard, who offered support after coming across the incident while on patrol, have urged anyone who sees any suspicious items to report them to ensure there is no risk of explosion.

It looked like it had a brass detonator on it.

Andrew Robertson

Out of work landscape gardener Andrew Robertson, 35, from Grangetown, was one of those who saw in on the stretch of beach while out for a walk with daughter Tamzin, 15, and Staffordshire bull terrier Cas.

“I was just walking the dog and that was a couple of weeks ago and noticed it, but thought it was a gas bottle or something, but yesterday I went up to it and thought it was a torpedo,” he said.

“It looked like it had a brass detonator on it.

“I put a photo of it on Facebook and everybody said it was a torpedo and they said to report it because they thought it was a bomb.

Police at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

Police at Hendon Beach, Sunderland, where a bomb has washed up.

“I’d tried to lift it when I thought it was a gas bottle, but it was really heavy.”

Discussions are likely to be held to decide on the best way to recover the cylinder, which is in a remote spot and likely to be filled with water.

The emergency services say it is important it is removed to ensure it does not spark another alert or is washed up elsewhere on the coast, causing more concern and alarm before it is identified again.

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “The council is looking at appropriate disposal as soon as possible.”

As yet unidentified object found on Hendon Beach in Sunderland on Monday, August 22. Picture courtesy of Andrew Robertson.

As yet unidentified object found on Hendon Beach in Sunderland on Monday, August 22. Picture courtesy of Andrew Robertson.