Southend rocked by explosion as Royal Marine bomb squad shut world-famous pier

Southend Pier was closed yesterday morning after an unexploded Victorian-era bomb was discovered close to it.

The suspect device was found just 30 metres from what is the world’s largest pleasure pier, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. 

A team from the Royal Marine Bomb Disposal Unit waited until low tide to detonate the device at around 7pm. 

Southend Pier, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was closed yesterday morning after an unexploded Victorian-era bomb was discovered close to it. A team from the Royal Marine Bomb Disposal Unit waited until low tide to detonate the device at around 7pm in what was a huge explosion

Southend Pier, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was closed yesterday morning after an unexploded Victorian-era bomb was discovered close to it. A team from the Royal Marine Bomb Disposal Unit waited until low tide to detonate the device at around 7pm in what was a huge explosion

Southend Pier, in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, was closed yesterday morning after an unexploded Victorian-era bomb was discovered close to it. A team from the Royal Marine Bomb Disposal Unit waited until low tide to detonate the device at around 7pm in what was a huge explosion

The device (pictured), thought to be a British rifled muzzle-loading projectile, was found just 30 metres from the pier. It was then dragged away from the pier

The device (pictured), thought to be a British rifled muzzle-loading projectile, was found just 30 metres from the pier. It was then dragged away from the pier

The device (pictured), thought to be a British rifled muzzle-loading projectile, was found just 30 metres from the pier. It was then dragged away from the pier

An exclusion zone was placed around the device and it was then detonated by an explosive charge

An exclusion zone was placed around the device and it was then detonated by an explosive charge

 An exclusion zone was placed around the device and it was then detonated by an explosive charge

‘The police kept the scene secure while Royal Navy Southern Diving Unit Two was deployed to examine the situation.

‘The Royal Navy team waited until low water in the evening, when the device was safely destroyed.

‘The device was thought to be a British rifled muzzle-loading projectile.   

A unit from the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team from Portsmouth pictured yesterday evening

A unit from the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team from Portsmouth pictured yesterday evening

A unit from the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team from Portsmouth pictured yesterday evening

HM Coastguard Southend said on their Facebook page: ‘The Southern Diving Unit team arrived this afternoon, removed it from the vicinity of the pier and carried out a demolition of the shell by controlled detonation.’  

‘The munition was taken to a safe place and destroyed by Southern Diving Unit 2 after cordoning off the pier. Not bad for a day’s work!’ 

The pier is around 1.3 miles long.

Southend Council said on Twitter: ‘Thanks to the emergency services and the military for their swift action and the public, for giving them the space to get on with their important job.’ 

At 1.3 miles long, Southend pier (pictured) is the longest pleasure pier in the world

At 1.3 miles long, Southend pier (pictured) is the longest pleasure pier in the world

At 1.3 miles long, Southend pier (pictured) is the longest pleasure pier in the world 

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