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Neighborhood evacuated, bomb squad called in after explosive device found in Essex home

ESSEX, Mass. — Part of a neighborhood in Essex was evacuated Monday morning after a cleaning crew found an unexploded explosive device inside a recently sold home, officials said.

Police and fire officials responding to a report of an “unknown piece of ordnance” inside a house in the area of the southern end of Wood Drive around 10:30 a.m. ordered an evacuation of about six homes “out of an abundance of caution,” according to Essex Police Chief Paul Francis.

“It was like a mortar. I guess it was really, really old and it was decided to just take it out of there,” Francis explained during a news conference. “The state police are going to take it wherever they take it to dispose of it.”

Portions of Chebacco Lake were also cordoned off while a bomb squad evaluated the scene. Crews took X-rays of the device but were not totally sure if it was live or not, so they took it away.

The “all-clear” was given shortly after 1 p.m.

The house in question recently sold and was in the process of being cleaned for the new owners.

State police and the FBI are assisting Essex police with an investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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