A Second World War bomb was detonated on the Essex coastline on Tuesday (4 July) after being discovered on a beach by a member of the public.

A stretch of the Southend-on-Sea seafront was closed off as bomb experts prepared to detonate the shell, which was found just outside a popular food kiosk.

In a video of the explosion, a man can be heard shouting, "standby, firing", before debris is then thrown about 50 feet in all directions as the bomb detonates.

Police were originally called to Western Esplanade, Westcliff-on-Sea, at 3.30pm on Sunday after the unexploded shell was discovered near to The Beach Hut restaurant.

The seafront was cordoned off with police tape as the army were called to inspect the ordnance. A section of the beach was also shut to the public by the Coastguard to maintain public safety.

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: "Police reopened Western Esplanade to traffic after the Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal team carried out a controlled explosion at around 1pm today (Tuesday, July 4)."

Hundreds of thousands of bombs were dropped on Britain during the Second World War, with unexploded shells still being found more than 70 years later. They are often unearthed on construction sites or washed up after being unsettled by weather.

In 2014, nine Second World War anti-aircraft shells washed up on a Westcliff-on-Sea beach following storms.

Southend-on-Sea was often used by German bombers during the war to dump their payload of bombs should they have failed to drop them on their primary target.

The town also sat next to RAF Rochford – now London Southend Airport – whose squadron of Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes were regularly targeted by German Luftwaffe pilots.

Furthermore, bombing raids were carried out on the Thames Estuary as supplies were transported in and out of London.