An unexploded hand grenade has been found in a Chelmsford park.
The grenade was found on the grass shortly before 2pm yesterday by a council employee.
Inspector Cheryl Hayes, of Essex Police, said: "It would appear that an attempt had been made to set off the grenade but that it had failed to detonate.
"It was discovered by a council employee, lying approximately 10 foot away from a pathway in the park.
"He immediately recognised it for what it was and called the police and we attended to then put in place cordons and await the arrival of the MOD’s expert Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
"They confirmed that the device was live and carried out a controlled explosion to make it safe.
"We do not believe the device had been there for a long time as it was easily spotted from the path and would have aroused any passer-by’s suspicions.
"It is obviously very fortunate that the device did not explode as if it had detonated then clearly there would have been a danger to anyone who may have been at the location – including the person who tried to set it off.”
She added the exact type of grenade could not be confirmed because it could not be examined prior to the EOD carrying out a controlled explosion.
"At this point in time we don’t know where this grenade came from,” she said.
"But this appears to be an isolated occurence and we have no knowledge of any similar incidents in Essex nor do we have any information on any thefts of such items.
"We do not believe there is any on-going risk to members of the public but we obviously want to trace the person or persons who were involved in this incident as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information or who saw any suspicious activity can call Essex Police at Chelmsford on 101 or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.