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Portpatrick Beach Explosion

BOMB disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion in Portpatrick on Friday evening.

A Royal Navy bomb disposal squad exploded dangerous munitions found on a nearby beach at 10.40 p.m. within the disused quarry on the south shore of the seaside village.

Having failed to burn the incendiary devices, the Faslane-based disposal team decided to destroy them in the old quarry using plastic explosives.

Although the explosion was visually masked by the cliffs and could not be seen by the public, its sound rocked the village and was reportedly heard by fishermen in Ardwell Bay.

A member of the public found the dangerous incendiaries while walking on Larbrax Beach, near Portpatrick and contacted the coastguard after one of the flares burst into flames.

Portpatrick’s coastguard searched the beach and within just 40 minutes the team recovered ten phosphorous flares.

Once recovered the flares were placed in a barrel containing water to keep them from drying — and then igniting — until the bomb disposal team arrived.

Iain Ritchie, Portpatrick Coastguard Station officer, said: “These phosphorous flares are very dangerous. If someone was to pick one up it could ignite and cause a serious burn.

“I’ve heard of fishermen picking them up and melting their oil-skins.

“They also give off a toxic gas which if inhaled can cause very severe respiratory problems.”

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