Evacuation after grenade found

PROPERTIES and a nursery were evacuated yesterdayfollowing the discovery of a rocket propelled grenade.

Anthony Bond

PROPERTIES and a nursery were evacuated yesterdayfollowing the discovery of a rocket propelled grenade.

The 81mm mortar was found in the back of a storage container in School Lane, Great Leighs, near Braintree, at 12.17pm.

A 200-metre exclusion zone was set up and police evacuated a nearby nursery and neighbouring properties.

An army bomb disposal crew was also sent to the scene.

Essex fire service's Steve Wintrip, who was commander at the incident, said: “The mortar was found in the container which had been opened by the owner and the police who withdrew as soon as they saw it.

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“When we turned up we ascertained that it was an 81mm mortar complete with its percussion cap and the bomb disposal squad were called in.

“In the end it turned out to be a training mortar and not a live round, although it had been painted green like a live round and that led to the confusion”