A former soldier today told of the frightening moment he discovered what he suspects was a homemade bomb.
James Squires, 28, was emptying packages of meat to feed dogs belonging to his boss when he found what looked to be a crude explosive device inside a carton of chicken.
He alerted his boss, Owen Baguley, at Baguleys Skip Hire, who ran with the package and dumped it in a steel container 30ft away and called 999.
Army bomb disposal units were called to the site on Dickies Lane, Marton.
Police set up a 100-metre cordon around the suspect package, just after 3pm on Friday, forcing the closure of nearby roads, including Progress Way.
James, who was in the Army Infantry for five years, said: “There was meat from a skip on the floor.
“I picked this packet up and it was half opened so I removed a piece and saw this little black package.
“Being curious I took it out, had a look and made a slit in the side of it.
“There were two batteries at the bottom, three layers of like marzipan and a cell battery all wired up.
“I knew what it was straight away. It was a parcel bomb. I spent five years in the Army so I trained about IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).
“On opening a package
like it they’re designed to go off. I wasn’t scared because it should have gone off.”
James moved the package, which had come from a wholesaler, to a nearby skip and called his boss over.
He immediately called police to the yards on Dickies Lane, which backs on to Progress Way.
Mr Baguley picked up the suspect package and ran with it to move it out of harms way into a steel container, away from the works area and nearby Moss Hey Kennels.
He said: “I thought if it’s triggered it’s going to go off so I decided to run with this
“There was a big steel container away from everyone,
“I thought that’s the place to put it. It was all so fast.
“It was a bit scary and there was a bit of adrenaline. I didn’t want to believe what it was but running with it just seemed like the best thing to do.”
Armed police quickly arrived at the scene and bomb disposal squads were called in, cordoning off an 100 metre area.
Mr Baguley said: “Armed response came in and said they weren’t touching it.
“They sealed everything off and called bomb disposal squad.”
Mr Squires, from Marton, added: “We did a pretty heroic thing.
“I saw what it was and thought I better put it in a safe position.”
Bomb disposal experts, from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment (EODR), sent in a robot to carry out a controlled explosion inside the container at around 7pm.
Initial reports suggested houses and businesses were evacuated but no-one was forced to leave their homes.
Vehicle window-tinter Richard Aspinall, 32, of RMA Tinting, said: “I was going to B&Q to get a Christmas tree and there was police blocking off Progress Way near Midgeland Road.
“There was lots of police directing people and patrolling the area. It was all a bit surreal.”
Police officials have not yet indicated whether the device was an explosive or not, or if they had a theory as to why it had been placed
inside the meat packaging.
Detectives from Blackpool CID are now liaising with the EODR before deciding whether to launch a criminal investigation.