'Hand Grenade' Found Inside Southend Hospital

11 February 2015, 18:09 | Updated: 11 February 2015, 19:11

The bomb squad's been called to Southend Hospital after staff found what looks like a hand grenade.

At just before 7 o'clock this evening patients and staff said they were being told a 'robot' from the bomb squad had safely removed the grenade. 

Essex Police confirmed this with a statement: 

"Army bomb disposal experts attended and the item has been taken away for testing. Enquiries into how the item came to be in the building are continuing. Cordons that were in place around the building have been lifted and people have returned to the hospital."

It was found on the first floor of the tower block, inside the heart and chest clinic at around 3:45 this afternoon. 

Police, and then the bomb squad, were called to deal with it - and patients were evacuated. 

For several hours Prittlewell Chase was closed in both directions while police dealt with the incident.

They say it's now re-opened, and traffic's flowing freely.