POLICE are investigating after a live unexploded hand grenade was found by a council worker.

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The grenade was found on grass in Admirals Park, Chelmsford, at 2pm on Thursday.

Police believe there had been an attempt made to set off the grenade but it had failed to detonate.

Inspector Cheryl Hayes, of Essex Police, said: “It would appear that an attempt had been made to set off the grenade but that it had failed to detonate.

“It was discovered by a council employee, lying approximately 10 foot away from a pathway in the park.

“He immediately recognised it for what it was and called the police and we attended to then put in place cordons and await the arrival of the MOD’s expert Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

“They confirmed that the device was live and carried out a controlled explosion to make it safe.

“We do not believe the device had been there for a long time as it was easily spotted from the path and would have aroused any passer-by’s suspicions.

“It is obviously very fortunate that the device did not explode as if it had detonated then clearly there would have been a danger to anyone who may have been at the location – including the person who tried to set it off.”

The type of grenade could not be confirmed because it was live and could not be examined before to the EOD carrying out a controlled explosion.

“At this point in time we don’t know where this grenade came from,” she said. “But this appears to be an isolated occurrence and we have no knowledge of any similar incidents in Essex nor do we have any information on any thefts of such items.

“We do not believe there is any on-going risk to members of the public but we obviously want to trace the person or persons who were involved in this incident as soon as possible.”

She said anyone with information about the incident can call Essex Police at Chelmsford on 101 or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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