Police have issued a plea for people to avoid using “anti-tank missiles” as door stops after a road in Surrey had to be cordoned off on Thursday.
Officers in Kingston upon Thames made the bizarre public appeal after Ewell Road in Surbiton was closed off following the discovery.
Tweeting an image of the huge black and yellow object on Friday, Alexandra VK Police said: “Some of you may have noticed part of Ewell Road cordoned off yesterday.
Some of you may have noticed part of Ewell Road cordoned off yesterday. To avoid further inconvenience, if you happen to find an Anti-Tank missile, please don’t use it as a door-stop. pic.twitter.com/psi1XuFJGM
— Alexandra VK Police (@MPSAlexandraVK) September 14, 2018
“To avoid further inconvenience, if you happen to find an anti-tank missile, please don’t use it as a door-stop.”
However, the image sparked a debate between eagle-eyed Twitter users, with some arguing the ‘missile’ was, in fact, a blank used for practice rounds, while others insisted it was an explosive.
Defence Photography tweeted that it was an MBT 120mm HESH [main battle tank 120mm high explosive squash head] practice round, which is “harmless unless it falls on your toes”.
Graham Meek agreed, tweeting “if that went off it would be a miracle”, while another user added, “it’s a drill/practice round but you made me chuckle anyway”.
Joe Kovar said the yellow indicated it was a practice round, and that the most damage it would do was “strain your back if you try to lift it”.
But Simon Corbin insisted practice tank ammunition was blue in colour, and that the photograph was of a live round.
Others waded into the debate to claim it wasn’t a shell from an anti-tank missile at all, but in fact a shell from a battleship.
And David Cooper said he was a “bit worried by these ex-tank professionals that can’t agree if blue/yellow is practice or high explosive”.
The Ministry of Defence has been contacted for comment.
Source: The Independent