Residents returned home to “apocalyptic” scenes after the controlled explosion of a World War II bomb blew out house windows and wrecked cars.
People were “crying in the streets” after some areas were “destroyed” and most houses in one road were “smashed” by the blast in Kingston, south-west London, a resident claimed.
The controlled explosion is said to have damaged almost 20 houses while leaving behind a massive crater and spraying sand and debris
Hundreds of residents had been forced out of their homes for almost 32 hours due to the unexploded 250kg (550lb) German bomb found at a building site, Surrey Live reports.
The bomb was detonated by an Army disposal team last Friday afternoon, producing a deafening boom heard eight miles away.
Metropolitan Police said the damage was limited to within a 50-metre (164-ft) radius.
After residents were allowed to return home Friday evening, Keeley Malone said some areas had been “destroyed” and “most of the houses down the road smashed”.
Ms Malone, 21, was forced to spend Thursday night in a hotel after about 1,500 homes were evacuated.
A refuge centre was set up for those who were displaced.
Ms Malone said after returning home: “People were crying in the streets, it wasn’t very nice to see really.
“From what I saw yesterday it was horrible.
“Most of the house windows down the road were smashed.
“There was sand everywhere.”
Another resident, Rachel Major, tweeted photos of the scene, including her blown-out windows.
She wrote: “Waiting to get my window boarded up.”
She added: “Went off around 16:30 as they attempted to diffuse it. It was already packed in 350 tons of sand and metal as a detonation was a possibility.
“No one hurt. 18 properties with blown out windows.”
Another resident wrote to Kingston Council: “@RBKingston please send help to clear up Fassett Road following WW2 #kingstonbomb we’re still cleaning up glass from the explosion!”
One resident described the sound of the blast as a “massive explosion like thunder”, and others said they felt their homes shake.
After the bomb was detonated, the Army team that assisted police posed for a picture at the crater.
Meghan McRae, a musician who lives with her children across from the detonation site, said many homes had broken windows.
The 43-year-old, whose home wasn’t damaged, added: “We didn’t know what we were going back home to.
“It was quite apocalyptic being reunited with my nextdoor neighbours.”
She said of the officers who helped residents: “They were amazing. They were coming around checking and asking if we needed any help. It was amazing just to see the police out doing that.”
The bomb is thought to have been a SC250, or Sprengbombe Cylindrisch 250, which the Luftwaffe dropped during the Blitz.
Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, said: “The matter of detonating this device was taken with the utmost seriousness and I’d like to thank the Army and the other emergency services for their assistance and support.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence deferred comment to police.
Cllr Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council, said: “Our thanks go to the police, army and all other emergency services for dealing with this incident safely.
“Thanks also go to our fantastic local community, including businesses and the voluntary sector, who have come together and helped provide food and provisions to our residents during this time.”