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Southend MOD site in blast scare

According to Essex Fire Service, around 22lb (10kg) of explosives were involved in the blast, which occurred at a weapons testing centre at MoD Shoeburyness, near Southend.

The weapons testers were freed by MoD officers in an armoured personnel carrier, but there were no injuries.

Five fire crews attended the incident, which happened at around 11am today.

A spokesman for QinetiQ, the private defence contractor that runs the Blackgate Road munitions centre, said:

"No-one was hurt in the incident at our environmental test centre and we are conducting a full investigation into what happened as is part of our standard safety procedures."


Taxi! London to Southend please

Now, a sight you don't usually see on the roads - a fleet of one London taxi cabs in convoy. But it was all for a very special reason. They were taking three hundred deserving children for a very special day out in Southend. Click here to see the report from Jenny Line.

Included in the report are interviews from taxi driver Levy Raymond, teacher Andrew Rigby, Event Organiser Susan Angel and Andrew Renton, the Grandson of the event's founder.

Robber flees as judge is about to jail him

Police have launched a manhunt after a 19-year-old fled a court dock as a judge was about to send him to jail. Unemployed Ricky Kerry ran from the dock at Southend Crown Court after being sentenced to 28 months in prison for robbery.

Essex Police say he made off on foot at just after 12.45pm in the direction of Baxter Avenue. It is understood that Kerry, of Jones Close, Southend, escaped through heavy double doors at the entrance to the court and down two flights of stairs.

The force said Kerry was being sentenced for a robbery in Sutton Road, Southend, in April in which he punched a man and took his mobile phone. Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101

  1. Anglia

A Crinkley Bottom for honeymoon couple

This is the sight that greeted a honeymoon couple when they got back to their home in Southend.

The "Mr Blobby" house in Southend Credit: ITV News Anglia

Steve and Hayley O'Rouke's terrace house was given an unexpected Mr Blobby style makeover.

Mr O'Rourke's brother Russell got to work Crinkley Bottom-style in a revenge prank after he'd returned from his own honeymoon to find a brick wall built across his drive.


Prank sees house painted like Mr Blobby

A newly-wed couple returned from honeymoon to find that their home had been painted bright Pink in the style of Mr Blobby.

The Daily Mirror reports how Steve and Hayley O’Rourke, 32 and 31, from Southend discovered the prank after their two week honeymoon

The groom’s brother Russell, 35, planned the Mr Blobby-style paint job in revenge for a similar joke six years ago.

See full story here

Appeal for witnesses after "unacceptable" assault

We would urge anyone with information to come forward. Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Our staff have a right to go about their jobs without facing fear, intimidation or abuse of any kind.

– Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia's Head of Safety

Anyone with information is asked to contact to British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference B7/LNA of 16/04/2013. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Station staff member punched in chest during assault

Around 5.15pm, a man, who had verbally abused two women outside Southend Victoria station, followed them through the ticket barriers and onto the station platform. The women reported the man’s behaviour to a member of station staff, who confronted him and asked to show a valid ticket. As he was only in possession of a child’s ticket, a member of staff escorted him out from the train, and towards the station entrance. At the ticket barriers, the man began to verbally abuse the staff member, before punching him in the chest and making off from the scene.

– PC Melvyn Owen, BTP

CCTV released after station staff member assaulted

British Transport Police want to speak to this man Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police is appealing for information after a member of station staff was assaulted on board a train at Southend Victoria station.

Investigators have released CCTV of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident, which took place on Monday, 25 March.

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