That’s not a shell, it’s a grenade! Girl, 7, sparks alert after finding WW2 explosive on beach… and bringing it home in her bucket
A little girl who went beachcombing got more than she bargained for when she came home with a live Second World War hand grenade.
A bomb squad was called after Cody Potter, seven, carried the unexploded device home in her bucket back to her family home without telling her parents.
When Cody showed it to her father Colin the following day, he immediately realised the danger they were in and called the police.
Their street in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, was evacuated and experts carried out a controlled explosion.
Mr Potter, 39, said: ‘When I told them what it was, they told us to get out of the house and stay away from the windows.
‘Everyone was evacuated. We feel so lucky because it would have killed her.
‘It would’ve taken her apart if it had gone off.’
Mr Potter placed the live grenade behind his shed as far away from the house as possible before calling police.
Mr Potter said Cody regularly collected shells and stones, placing them in her bucket.
He said: ‘She picked up something and just thought it was a rock, it looked like a turtle.
‘Then the next day she pulled it out and showed us, saying: “What do you think of this?”. When I saw it, my guts turned. I put it behind the shed and called the police.’
Officers and Army bomb squad experts sealed off the area around 10.15am yesterday and a controlled explosion took place on the beach.
A 30-year-old neighbour said: ‘It was crazy, there were police everywhere, too many to count. I think the helicopter was out too. I was just leaving with the kids when they told everybody to get away from the houses and windows.’
Northumbria Police are appealing for beach walkers to be vigilant after the device was formally identified as a Second World War hand grenade.
Supt Debbie Ford, of Northumberland area command, said: ‘Grenades and similar items occasionally wash up along the Northumberland coast or are found when clearing out houses, attics or sheds.
‘Although they may appear harmless because of their age or condition, it’s important that the public respond correctly.
‘If anyone finds a device that looks like it could be a grenade or something similar, then don’t touch or handle it. Leave the items where it is and move to a safe distance.’