A live bomb found in a Whanganui home on Wednesday has been destroyed safely.

Resident Colleen Mackie discovered the bomb in her Abbot Street garage in Gonville around 11am.

Ms Mackie said she was doing a big garage clean-up and found the device buried in the rear corner.

 CORDON: Police seal off Abbot Street following the discovery of a bomb. Photo/Stuart Munro
CORDON: Police seal off Abbot Street following the discovery of a bomb. Photo/Stuart Munro

"I was just sweeping out from underneath the shelf and I heard metal and it came out with the broom.

Advertisement

Not realising what she had come across, she picked it up and was about to throw it out with the other garage rubbish when it dawned on her what she was holding.

"I was pretty worried when I saw that the pin was still in it and I saw the wire around it and I could read the instructions on the little tin tag that said how to detonate it.

"I just wanted to get as far away outside as I could ... then I called the police."

Officers arrived shortly after and closed off Abbot St between Heads Road and Bignell Street.

Ms Mackie and nearby neighbours were evacuated from the area and the bomb squad in Wellington was called to the scene. It took the nearly four hours for the bomb squad to arrive.

Senior constable Tanya Ross said the bomb - an eight-pound aircraft practice bomb - was live.

SAFETY FIRST: Bomb disposal staff get to work at the army base. Photo / Stuart Munro
SAFETY FIRST: Bomb disposal staff get to work at the army base. Photo / Stuart Munro

The bomb disposable unit contacted the army to get authority to let it explode.

"The army base out at Landguard Bluff was the only safe area in Whanganui to detonate the bomb in the sand," Ms Ross said.

Advertisement

She said it had to be destroyed by 4.30pm before the flight training started at the Whanganui Airport.

"It is likely the bomb had been there for more than 37 years because that's how long Colleen had been living there and she had not come across anything like it before."

The bomb was detonated at 4.20pm at army base, and Ms Mackie was able to return home with Abbot St re-opened.

Bomb destroyed at Langaurd Bluff in Whanganui. Photo/ Stuart Munro
Bomb destroyed at Langaurd Bluff in Whanganui. Photo/ Stuart Munro