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UXB evacuated families in flap about their cats left behind in Temple Street

PUBLISHED: 12:18 11 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:18 11 August 2015

Waiting to be fed... Arthur the Siamese in his toy fire-engine

Waiting to be fed... Arthur the Siamese in his toy fire-engine

Katrina Cimetta

Pet owners are in a flap about their cats being trapped by the ‘exclusion’ zone thrown around their neighbourhood in London’s East End after an unexploded Second World War bomb was unearthed by workmen on a building site.

Emergency services cordon off Bethnal Green neighbourhood ready for Army to tackle UXB [photo: Vickie Flores]Emergency services cordon off Bethnal Green neighbourhood ready for Army to tackle UXB [photo: Vickie Flores]

Many families evacuated from the 600ft ‘danger’ area around the site in Bethnal Green where the device was found yesterday lunchtime at Temple Street, off Hackney Road, had to leave their cats behind.

Readers have posted “SOS” notices to the East London Advertiser worried that the animals can’t get food.

“Our cat Arthur is in the flat and we don’t know when he’s going to be fed.” charity worker Katrina Cimetta told the paper.

“We have no information at all, no phone number we can ring to find out when we can go back.”

Pickle (left) and Pepper in hiding in Old Bethnal Green RoadPickle (left) and Pepper in hiding in Old Bethnal Green Road

Arthur, a three-year-old Siamese, is patiently waiting for the ‘all clear’ before his mistress can be allowed through, getting more hungry as the hours pass.

“We had to spend the night on a friend’s sofa,” Katrina added. “I couldn’t go to work this-morning because I hadn’t got a change of clothes with me.”

Arthur is trapped in Katrina’s flat at Temple Dwellings, just 50 feet from the building site where the 500lb bomb was unearthed.

Office worker Philippa Cave, 48, has double trouble—both her pet cats, Pepper and Pickle, are locked in her flat round the corner in Old Bethnal Green Road.

Cordon around Temple St (photo: Ndu Wodu/PA Wire)Cordon around Temple St (photo: Ndu Wodu/PA Wire)

She told the Advertiser: “My biggest concern is Pepper and Pickle. I was worried they wouldn’t get fed if we had to be evacuated.

“But the police let me through the barrier last night after questioning me twice about where I live.

“They were very polite and let me through, but I’ll need to rescue my cats if necessary.”

The mother-and-daughter pussycats were hiding under Philippa’s bed last night—as if by instinct knowing there was potential danger. But Philippa has contingency plans if they need evacuation and will take them to her mother-in-law in Poplar for safety.

Meanwhile, the rest centre set up for humans at Bethnal Green Academy school in Gosset Street nearby is preparing for a possible second night after 150 people sheltered there following yesterday’s evacuations.

Many residents contacted the press worried that they were not being given any information about the rest centre or when they would be allowed back in their homes.

For tenants in Teesdale Street and the nearby Minerva Estate, it was the other way round. They complained they were not being evacuated, but left trapped in their homes unable to leave—while housing office staff on the estate were actually led out by police officers to safer areas.


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