A LIVE Second World War grenade was found by children under a slide in a Southend play area.

The grenade, found by families playing in the Sidmouth Avenue play area on Saturday evening, was detonated at the Westcliff Rugby Club on Aviation Way hours later.

The discovery, at 6.30pm, saw the park evacuated, along with several homes nearby for around three hours.

Residents reported hearing a huge explosion at around 9.30pm, with police and a bomb disposal unit involved in the detonation.

There is confusion at how the grenade, covered in mud, was on the playground, which is tarmacced.

It is believed to have been thrown from a nearby garden.


Daniel Cowan, Labour councillor for the St Laurence ward, says children "did the right thing" and brought their parents to the grenade.

He said: "The pin was rusted but it was still live.

"It was too dangerous to take elsewhere to detonate.

"The park was closed off for several hours.

"I'm pleased at the speed the incident was dealt with and nobody was hurt."

Council officials are patrolling the park today in case of further discoveries.