A bomb was detonated in a field after it was unearthed at a building site near a school by construction workers.

Police were called after the unexploded mortar bomb was found by alarmed builders at a site in Railway Approach, Laindon, yesterday morning.

Officers quickly put up a cordon around the area and guarded the scene while they waited for the Army’s bomb disposal team to arrive.

Mum-of-two Chantelle Van Dungey described her panic at seeing the cordon when she was on her way to pick up her sons from Merrylands Primary School.

The 30-year-old from Basildon said: “I was getting my son from nursery and I saw the police cordon and there was tape everywhere.

“The police told me to stop and that I couldn’t come through because there was a bomb.

"I was really worried because I have two sons at the school down the road.

"I rang them straight away and they said they would contact the police and make sure it didn’t have to be evacuated.

“I’m really relieved that it all got resolved with no problems.”

A bomb disposal team from Colchester Troop, 621 Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment Royal Logistic Corps were dispatched to the site to deal with the unexploded bomb.

On inspection, it was found to be a Second World War-vintage 3lb mortar bomb which still contained explosives.

It was destroyed in a controlled explosion in a nearby field.

An Army spokesman said: “Destroying the bomb was the safest thing to do in the circumstances, as old ammunition can be quite unstable.

“We would encourage the public to raise the alarm if they do have concerns about any suspect items they find and not to touch them. It is better to be safe than sorry.”