THE BOMB SQUAD were called to East Tilbury village on Saturday after a suspect package was found near to Coalhouse Fort.
Dozens of villagers spent the evening out of their houses as the police cordoned off a large section of the village.
Many were put up in the Ship Inn public house.
Villager John Harding described the scene. He said: “We were just settling down for a Saturday night when the police came to the door and told us there was a suspect package nearby.
“We were among several families that had to leave their houses. Luckily we were put up by the Ship Inn. I could think of worse players to be evacuated to!
The suspect package was traced to hear the gunnery towers down by Coalhouse Fort.
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “We were called at 5pm on Saturday (16th April) after reports that a suspect package had been found on Princess Margaret Road, East Tilbury.
“The Explosive Ordinance Diposal (EOD) team were called and a controlled explosion took place just before midnight.”
“Scenes of crime remain on the scene as a full investigation is taking place.”
The forensic teams were still at the site on Sunday afternoon fuelling speculation as to the nature of the suspect package.