Hundreds of people were reported evacuated in Kingston today after a 'large' bomb was found at a building site in the town (May 23).

At around 11am reports began to emerge that "hundreds" of people, including many students at Kingston University (KU), had been evacuated from buildings on and near the Penrhyn Road campus between Penrhyn Road and Fassett Road in Kingston.

The Metropolitan Police said they had established a cordon and evacuated the vicinity Thursday morning after receiving reports that ordnance dating from the Second World War had been discovered at a building site.

A spokesperson for the Met said: "Police were called at around 0915hrs on Thursday, 23 May, to suspected World War Two ordnance found on a construction site on Fassett Road, Kingston.

"Officers are at the scene and cordons are in place.

"The item has been examined by specialist officers. We have sought the assistance of MoD."

Your Local Guardian: Image: Ana de LizImage: Ana de Liz

Meanwhile, people who were in the area during the evacuation described "hundreds" of people evacuated from the area while emergency services descended on the scene.

Ana de Liz, a journalism student at KU, told the Surrey Comet: "I spoke to one of the student officers and they told me there was a World War II bomb that was unexploded had been unearthed at the building site near the Penrhyn Road campus.

"I think around 200 people have been evacuated so far," she said at around 11am.

Ms de Liz quoted a fellow student and library staffer, Halima Monir, who was also caught up in the evacuation, who remarked: "I was working in the library, we were evacuated and all of my stuff is inside, no one is telling us what is going on. I just want my stuff back."

In a later update, Ms de Liz said that "a 500-metre radius perimeter of evacuation" in the area, and that she had seen "army personnel go inside the cordon," at around noon.

Brandon Mitchell, another bystander who was in the area at the time of the evacuation, described "a large meter long bomb" having been discovered at the building site.

KU meanwhile confirmed they had closed the Penrhyn Road campus and urged students and staff to monitor their social media channels for updates.

A spokesperson for KU said: "The Metropolitan Police is evacuating an area of Kingston which includes the whole of Penrhyn Road campus.

"The Penrhyn Road campus will be closed for the rest of the day. All staff and students based at Penrhyn Road may go home.

"Please follow the instructions of the police and University staff. Take your belongings with you and be prepared that the campus may also be closed tomorrow.

"Please keep an eye on all channels for updates on any further expected disruption. We will post the next update at 2pm today. We appreciate your patience and cooperation in this situation."

On the day of the European elections, Kingston MPS said that they had helped to relocate one polling station that had been close to the site where the bomb was discovered.

On Twitter, Kingston MPS said: "If you live in the affected area and are yet to vote in today's elections, your polling station has been relocated to St. Mark's Church, St. Mark's Hill, Surbiton."

Your Local Guardian: Further evacuations in the surrounding area were reported Thursday afternoon. Image: Ana de LizFurther evacuations in the surrounding area were reported Thursday afternoon. Image: Ana de Liz

In an update sent to the Surrey Comet via Twitter around 2pm, Ms de Liz revealed that further evacuations of some neighbouring buildings in the area had taken place:

"Knights Park, the arts campus 5min walk from Penrhyn Road and some surrounding streets have been evacuated as well. Staff and students going home," Ms de Liz said. 

By 4.15pm, Met Police in Kingston revealed that the cordens they had set up as a precaution against the WWII bomb would remain in place until 4pm on Friday at least. 

In an update posted online, the Met said:

"We have now been advised that these cordons will remain in place until at least 16:00hrs tomorrow, Friday, 24 May.

"Roads within the cordons include: Penryhn Road, Beaufort Road, Beaufort Place, Fassett Road, Grove Lane, Grove Crescent, Bloomfield Road and Linkford Avenue."