RESIDENTS were evacuated from a Kidderminster estate after a scrap metal dealer accidentally collected an unexploded bomb.

West Mercia Police were called to an address in Norton Road, Comberton, at about 1.15pm this afternoon by Daniel Mills who had brought a number of scrap metal items back from Alveley.

Mr Mills said he had not initially noticed anything untoward about the scrap but on closer inspection, his friend spotted what looked like an unexploded bomb.

It turned out to be an unexplosive aircraft training device but police evacuated residents in Norton Road and neighbouring Winterfold Close and Hawford Avenue as a precaution while military bomb disposal units attended to the device.

Residents went to a rest centre at nearby St Chads Community Church hall where they waited for news for about two hours. Police were finally told residents could return home.

Mr Mills said: “I went out this morning and collected some scrap from outside a man’s house in Alveley. Not thinking, I brought it back home and put it in the house and then my mate saw it and said you should ring the police because it still had the pin in it.

“Police told me to put it outside, so I did and they turned up and blocked the road up and evacuated the neighbours.

“I have been doing this for about 10 years but nothing like this has ever happened before. I was a bit nervous when the police turned up and we realised what it was and I felt a bit bad for everyone being evacuated because of it.”

After returning from St Chad’s hall, Norton Road neighbours Beverley Bennett, Rachael Young, Elizabeth Young and Betty Reynolds all met up at Mrs Bennett’s home.

Mrs Bennett said: “I heard a bang at the door and thought it was my husband getting back but the police said you have got to be evacuated we have found an unexploded bomb.

“They told us to go to St Chad’s because they were worried it could explode and if it did there could be pieces of glass about.

“I was panicking because I said what about my animals, I have a dog a cat and a rabbit but the police said they would be ok.

“My niece had her little boy with her so we were panicking a bit. We were out for about two hours. The people at St Chad’s did well - we had a cup of tea and there were toys for the kids”

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: "A cordon was established at the scene and residents evacuated from nearby premises as a precaution but following advice from military experts people have been allowed to return to their homes. The road cordon has been lifted.”

On twitter, supt Kevin Purcell said: "Norton Road, Comberton, Kidderminster this afternoon. Evacuation as device considered a potential threat. Military to remove. Not terrorism."