Residents have been left shocked after a loud explosion could be heard in the Westcliff and Chalkwell area of Southend this morning.

The bomb disposal unit from the Royal Navy was seen speeding towards Southend at about 7.15am this morning with blue flashing lights.

Southend Coastguard rushed to the incident after the suspected ordnance was found by a bait-digger.

A spokesman said: “Southend Coastguards were tasked to suspected ordnance which was found by a bait-digger.

"The Explosive Ordnance Division identified the ordnance as being from World War Two. Three items were made safe by way of a controlled explosion, carried out by the Royal Navy.

"We would ask that if people find suspected ordnance below the high water mark, that they dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Canvey Coastguard have since confirmed an unexploded ordnance was discovered on Chalkwell beach yesterday.

Due to the incoming tide, the decision was made to leave the explosive overnight before it was detonated at low tide this morning.

Coastguard team member Danny Howard said: "At just after 8.30 this morning the team at Canvey Island Coastguard Rescue Team were paged by our control room at Dover to reports of ordanance washed up on the beach at Chalkwell.

"The crew, along with our flank teams from HM Coastguard Southend and South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team attended the scene and met with the first informant.

"Due to the tide coming in quickly and the location of the possible ordanance, a plan was formed for the local team to attend the following morning at low tide with our colleagues from the Explosive Ordanance Disposal Unit to safely remove the item."

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the task was completed this morning by a Navy specialist EOD team and that the team located and destroyed two conventional munitions, thought to be WW2 projectiles.