Part of Southampton docks has been sealed off following a bomb alert.

A large area near the container terminal has been evacuated following the discovery of a shell thought to date from the Second World War.

An area beside Dock Gate 20 was being covered with tarmac this morning when workmen unearthed the shell.

Police have ordered everyone off the site and set up a 100-metre exclusion zone while a military bomb disposal team deals with the device.

The green shell, about one-and-a-half metres below the surface, is likely to be blown up in a controlled explosion or taken away to be dealt with elsewhere.

A police spokesman said First Avenue was still open, despite the drama.

A witness said workmen were preparing to tarmac an area for a new business centre when the discovery was made.

“Police ordered everyone off the site, shut the gates and prevented anyone from going in,” he said.