Offenders carrying out community service in a Leeds park discovered an unexploded shell lying in the undergrowth.
The YEP understands police and experts from the Army bomb squad were alerted just after 11.30am yesterday when members of a Community Payback team working at the park off Potternewton Lane discovered the device.
Police quickly cordoned off the park and officers were put in place around the nearby estate to stop local residents straying inside.
The YEP arrived on the scene just minutes before bomb disposal experts from Catterick Garrison arrived in a white van with a police escort.
Members of the team unloaded equipment from the van, including a remote controlled robot, before one expert went inside the cordon to inspect the shell.
Using a hi-tech camera, he quickly established it was not live before placing it in a red steel box and securing it in the back of the van.
A small crowd of concerned locals gathered nearby, including staff at a nearby dentists’ surgery which backs on to the park.
Zoe Smith, 40, who was working at the Hammond and Cooms dental surgery, told the YEP: “We weren’t told much but they said it looked like some sort of WWII device. They told us we’d be okay as long as we stayed towards the front of the surgery. None of us were worried but you do get a bit scared when more and more police arrive.”
Michael Faulkner, 47, who lives directly next to the site, said: “I’d just been out and when I got back, the police were here and I had to persuade them to let me get through my gate. I heard them saying it was some sort of unexploded device but they seemed to have it under control.”
A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire police confirmed that member of a Community Payback team had discovered the device and specialists from the bomb squad had dealt with the incident.