Unexploded grenades spark panic in Hampstead

Tan Parsons PANIC was sparked in Hampstead after two unexploded grenades were found in a shop undergoing refurbishment. Police sealed off Flask Walk on Monday and called in the bomb squad after electrician Jozsef Mezei made the alarming discovery at 11am

Tan Parsons

PANIC was sparked in Hampstead after two unexploded grenades were found in a shop undergoing refurbishment.

Police sealed off Flask Walk on Monday and called in the bomb squad after electrician Jozsef Mezei made the alarming discovery at 11am while setting up the wiring in the shop ceiling.

Mr Mezei, 31, said: "I drilled a hole in the ceiling and there was a hand grenade right next to the hole. I wasn't sure what it was at first so I picked it up. Then I saw what it was and put it down on the steps I was standing on. Then I left the place."


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Flask Walk came to a standstill as neighbouring shopkeepers were ordered back into their buildings by police and told to take cover at the back of their premises.

The grenade, described as black and the size of a man's fist, was inspected by officers from the bomb squad and later removed.

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Witnesses say it looked very old - as if it may have been a remnant from the Second World War. After a further search, the police discovered a rifle grenade in the same place.

The building is owned by Ben Joseph and his daughter Shadi, of Visibility Lighting and Design. They are planning to open their new shop later this month.

Mr Joseph said: "We called the police because we weren't sure what to do with the grenade.

"Of course we were worried. We were even more worried when about 20 policemen arrived. But they did a good job of getting people away. The bomb squad checked the grenade and said the pin was not in it."

Veronica Ford, from the Mystical Fairies shop, opposite where the grenades were found, said: "We just suddenly saw police arriving outside and then they taped off the road.

"They told us to close the windows, close the curtains and move to the back of the building. I wasn't that worried but I didn't want to have the glass in my windows blown in.

"It was over very quickly. We saw the hand grenade - it was a big black thing."

A police spokeswoman said the incident was over by 11.50am and both the grenades were found to be inert.

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