Mine under gas pipeline detonated
THE unexploded Second World War mine that has been lying beneath one of the North Sea’s major gas pipelines for almost 20 years has been safely detonated in a controlled explosion.
Shell yesterday confirmed that the delicate operation to remove and detonate the unexploded British wartime ordnance had been completed at the weekend.
The 500lb mine was discovered lying underneath the Flags (Far North Liquids and Associated Gas System) pipeline 62 miles off the Aberdeen coast in 1993.
A Shell spokesman said: “The ordnance was successfully detonated at 5:38am on 5 August.”
Glen Cayley, Shell’s vice-president for technical affairs, said: “We did a lot of preparation including detailed risk assessment, to ensure this operation was as safe as possible, for this important gas pipeline to the UK, for the local environment and of all of the people involved.”
The disposal operation involved using a bag, attached to a lifting mechanism, which was dropped to the seabed and inflated around the mine and floated to the surface. The bomb was towed to a safe area, lowered to the seabed and detonated.
There are an estimated 190,000 unexploded mines from the two world wars lying around the coast of the UK.
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