STAFF had to be evacuated from a postal depot because of a bomb scare.
A hand grenade fell out of a parcel at the Parcelforce centre in Deeside yesterday at about 6pm.
Emergency services were called to the depot in Factory Road, Sandycroft, and the grenade was identified as decommissioned.
Delivery and collection manager Lee Willett said he had been unloading a vehicle when the explosive device fell out of a parcel posted in the Deeside area.
“It literally came out of the packet which was open at the end,” he said.
Colleagues initially thought Mr Willett was joking when he told them what he had in his hand but they realised he was serious when they saw the look on his face.
“We thought: ‘Hang on, he looks a bit worried’,” said one.
Mr Willett, from Stoke-on-Trent, said he put the grenade in a safe place away from the building and called 999.
Police on the phone told him the grenade would not be safe if it was live and to clear the area, he said.
Staff evacuated the scene and shortly afterwards, three police cars and a police van arrived.
Mr Willett said a former army officer took about 10 minutes to identify the grenade as one that was decommissioned.
The item was believed to be intended for use as a paperweight.
Mr Willett said things had returned to normal at the depot after just 15 minutes stoppage.
“There’s a first time for everything,” he said, “but it’s nice to know I haven’t got a grenade in the system.”