UPDATE: Truth behind St Albans loft "bomb" revealed

PUBLISHED: 17:25 15 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:32 15 January 2014

Police and a bomb disposal unit at the scene on Saturday. Photo - Craig Shepheard

Police and a bomb disposal unit at the scene on Saturday. Photo - Craig Shepheard

Craig Shepheard - You Have Been Photographed

A "potentially explosive device" removed from a St Albans home on Saturday has been revealed to be a bottle full of picric acid.

Police were called to the Beverley Gardens property in Jersey Farm, occupied by an elderly bottle collector, just before 10am when the safety threat was discovered.

Surrounding roads were closed and several homes had to be evacuated for around four hours as a safety precaution.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team are believed to have disposed of the potentially dangerous item, as well as a number of other bottles suspected to contain hazardous materials, in a nearby field just off Coopers Green Lane by a controlled explosion.

A police spokesman said the resident was “unwittingly in possession” of the potentially explosive bottle which was originally thought to be a bomb.

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