Reports of a body in a well in Worthing led to a six-hour police operation on Tuesday night.

A hand had been spotted in several feet of water in a well at a derelict property in Eriswell Road.

Firefighters drained the well - and when the water level fell it became clear the "body" was a prosthetic hand.

The alarm was raised after firefighters were called to reports of water leaking at the site at 8.30pm.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: "Amid fears that it might be that of one of a number of homeless people who have been known to frequent the property and with recent signs of occupation, police and ambulance services were alerted and the fire service began to drain the well at around 9pm.

"As the level dropped, the 'body' became increasingly clearer and shortly before 2.30am, it was established that it was actually what appeared to be prosthetic hand.

"The call was made with all good intent and for some hours everyone present was convinced that it was a human body that they were attempting to recover.

"Thankfully, that was not the case."