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Teenager tells of 'liquid explosive' find in woods
9:42am Tuesday 19th September 2006 in News
ONE OF the Wycombe teenagers who found possible liquid explosives near the M40 has spoken to Midweek about his incredible discovery.
Shane Bartlett and his friend were cycling from his home in Hatters Lane, towards Flackwell Heath, on Wednesday night when they decided to take a shortcut through Fennell's Wood, Loudwater.
After coming to a couple of dead ends within the woods, the boys lifted their bikes over a fence and carried on cycling. As they got deeper they stumbled across two bin bags.
Shane, 13, said: "We saw two black bin bags sitting against the fence all neatly and stacked up. My mate got off the bike and kicked it to see what was in there."
The boys took a bag each and used a stick to open them. Inside they found four plastic Asda bottles containing what they thought was water.
Shane's friend opened one of the bottles and tipped the contents onto the floor. It immediately started to bubble and smoke, scaring the lads.
The terrified pair ran with their bikes from the wood. Shane then called 999 from his mobile phone.
When police arrived an officer followed the boys back to where they had found the bags.
Shane said: "He picked up the bottle that was already open. He spilt a little bit out himself and it did the same thing.
"They told us to go and wait in their car because they were blocking the woods off. He came and said he was going to get specialists out and everything."
Explosive officers from the Metropolitan Police were called in as a precautionary measure, and forensic teams continued the investigation on Thursday morning.
A section of one lane of the M40 and hardshoulder between junction 3 and 4 was also shut causing huge tailbacks for rush hour traffic.
After giving their details the boys were sent home by police.
Shane's mum, Carol, 39, said: "When he came home I didn't realise how bad it was or anything. When the police rung up in the morning and explained to me about it, that's when it hit me.
"What was going through my mind was not what it was used for, but what it could have done to him. It's just another innocent person that would have been hurt."
Both boys were taken to a secret location in Beaconsfield on Thursday where they were interviewed by officers from Scotland Yard. Shane, a year nine pupil at Highcrest School, said police took his finger prints and a DNA swab from his mouth and told him he couldn't wear his trainers for two days.
Carol added: "He's a 13-year-old boy coming up against terrorists. It's just touched home. It seems so far but yet so near. It is scary because you can't walk around with our heads buried in the ground. There's stuff out there that won't be found, it's that part that makes me so angry."
Police were not prepared to say exactly what the items were that the boys had found, and if they were linked to any ongoing investigations.
They are continuing their search of Kings Wood in Totteridge, but have pulled out of Sunter's Wood in Booker.
The search of Fennell's Wood also continues and police have since reopened the M40, but the hard shoulder remains closed.