ANYONE visiting Puriton last week might have been forgiven for thinking World War Three had started...

There were almighty bangs during two controlled explosions – to demolish one of the last buildings at the former ROF factory in Puriton.

The factory, which made explosives, closed in 2008 and the site, owned by BAE Systems, is being cleared ahead of its future use as an energy park.

Twenty-two kgs of explosives were used to bring down a 37-metre high former sulphuric acid plant – the acid was used to make TNT.

Avril Baker, of Avril Baker Consultancy, speaking on behalf of BAE, said: “Specialist Explosives Services were commissioned by BAE Systems to carry out the controlled detonations using cutting charges to cut through the steel uprights and kicking charges to make the building fall in the direction required.”

Villagers were sent letters in the post warning them of a noisy Thursday (November 8).

The letter said: “Approximately five minutes before the explosions take place there will be a loud warning siren which should be audible to our nearest neighbours in Puriton and Woolavington.

“This activity is a scheduled and controlled part of our wider redevelopment plan. Once complete, decommissioning of the site will continue as planned.”

To find out more about BAE’s plans for the site, visit