Essex

Southend Hospital evacuated after 'hand grenade' spotted

Southend Hospital
Image caption The suspect package was found by a member of staff at about 15:45 GMT

Part of a hospital in Essex has been evacuated after an item that "looked like a hand grenade" was found.

Southend Hospital said the "suspect package" had been spotted in its heart and chest clinic. Prittlewell Close was closed as a precaution.

Essex Police said a member of staff had found the package on the first floor of a tower block at about 15:45 GMT.

A spokeswoman for the force said an Army bomb disposal team took the item away for testing.

She said: "Inquiries into how the item came to be in the building are continuing."

People have been allowed to return to the hospital.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "The immediate incident at Southend University Hospital has now been resolved but the hospital remains on a major internal incident."

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