An explosion has rocked part of the city after a shell thought to be from the Second World War was destroyed on Brighton beach.

Bomb disposal teams were called and a cordon was set up after reports that a wartime shell had washed up on the beach.

The explosion was heard by residents as far away as Hanover and Queen’s Park.

One resident told The Argus: “I was nursing a rough hangover at home in Hanover when I heard a massive explosion.

“I looked out the window and wondered what it could have been.”

People lined nearby streets to watch as the bomb disposal unit detonated the object.

Witness Derek Ward saw the explosion and said: “An old World War Two bomb washed up on Brighton shore, so they closed the area, buried it and detonated it.

“It was right outside the gym I go to. It was pretty wild and fun to see.”

One witness reported seeing the bomb squad taking sand from the nearby volleyball court to bury the unknown device before it was destroyed.

A woman staying at a hotel nearby said: “I felt the explosion in my hotel room a few hundred metres up the road. It gave me such a fright.”

Police were called to the scene at around 10.30am, with part of the beach between the Palace Pier and the end of the zip line cordoned off by officers while an explosions ordnance disposal team dealt with the situation.

The object was destroyed on the beach at around 2.30pm.

The area will remain closed off to the public for some time while officers and the bomb squad retrieve any pieces of shrapnel.

A police spokesman said: “It is unknown what it was that was found on the beach. The explosives ordnance disposal team declared that it was worth destroying at the scene, rather than taken away.”

Police thanked the public for their patience while the matter was resolved.

The bomb squad was called to several incidents last year across Sussex following reports of unexploded weapons.

In April, officers were called to a road in Brighton after a report of an unexploded mortar shell which was thought to have been “innocently bought by a member of the public".

Officers were called a week later to an address in Eastbourne following reports of a “suspected unexploded grenade”.

Other unexploded devices were also discovered in Horsham and Worthing in June, prompting a large police response.