BREAKING NEWS: Streatham campus evacuated due to unexploded WW2 bomb
Parts of Streatham campus have been evacuated after the discovery of an unexploded World War 2 bomb on private land adjacent to the University.
Police at the scene have established a 100 metre safe zone, evacuating anyone within the perimeters including 200 students from University accommodation.
An emergency Registrar email was sent to students this afternoon informing them of the situation as it develops.
The email explained: “Police are coordinating the incident and there is no indication that this causes imminent danger, but we need to take immediate action.”
Whilst this is a fast-moving situation, it is being managed carefully and we are in full coordination with the authorities.REGISTRAR email
Students have been asked to refrain from coming to campus until the incident is resolved. Only students who are “attending a timetabled teaching session on campus, or a scheduled welfare appointment, or who are in accommodation on campus which is not affected”, are currently permitted on Streatham.
Exeposé spoke to a first-year student evacuated from Birks Grange about their experience:
“We were told to pack overnight bags and some were told to bring pillows. They told us there was an ‘incident’. Eventually, they told us what was going on. But we don’t know where to go. They haven’t told anyone I know where to go.
“I feel anxious – not because of the bomb but because I don’t know where to go and what to do.”
But we don’t know where to go. They haven’t told anyone I know where to go.First Year, Birks Grange
The email continued: “Please be assured that whilst this is a fast-moving situation, it is being managed carefully and we are in full coordination with the authorities. I appreciate that this will cause concern and may affect us for some time to come, and we are putting in place measures to ensure that all students and colleagues will be safe and looked after.”
The University also signposted that “if you have been displaced there is currently space available” in The Terrace, Peter Chalk, The Loft, The Sanctuary, Devonshire House and The Great Hall.
A text from SafeZone was sent to students asking them to refer to the Registrar email for urgent updates.
UPDATE: 26 February, 15:34
A second Registrar email sent to students said: “We have established a Support Centre at Building:One. If you have been affected by the incident and need support then members of our Residences Life team are there and can help. Colleagues from our Wellbeing Services team will be on hand to offer support to students who have concerns or need additional support.”
The email further stated the situation was likely to continue over the weekend.
Students who have been evacuated were also asked to abide by COVID-19 guidelines during this time, explaining: “This includes staying in Exeter. Traveling away from the city is not permitted under the current lockdown restrictions.”
The University’s update concluded “Our priority remains to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and colleagues and to support the authorities who are managing this incident.”
Further updates are expected in within the next three hours.
UPDATE: 26 February 18:53
Additional building closures and relocations of students is taking place as a precaution.
Students affected by the further building closures will receive an email from the Accommodation Team explaining the next stage of relocation.
A third Registrar email sent to students said: “Coaches will be available to support students who need to be temporarily relocated to hotels in the city.
“We will ensure you have all the information you need, and will provide personal care supplies and details of food allowances. The Residence Life team will also be available to support you.”
Among the additional building closures is the Sports Park where COVID-19 testing has been taking place.
The email explained: “All COVID-19 tests booked for the Sports Park tomorrow have been relocated to the Lemon Grove.”
Students are expected to be updated in the morning.