Hundreds of families were facing a night away from their homes after an unexploded German bomb weighing 550lb was found at a construction site.
The discovery in Priory Road, Aston this morning sparked a full-scale evacuation of surrounding houses and businesses.
Police said ‘hundreds of homes’ were cleared as a result of the bomb drama, which also saw the Aston Expressway closed, along with many surrounding roads.
The Aston Expressway is expected to stay closed until Tuesday morning, with many surrounding roads also affected.
Police have closed roads after this Second World War bomb was found in Birmingham
Army bomb experts arrived with a number of vehicles today as they dealt with the bomb
The military brought a number of devices to the construction site where the bomb was found
The soldiers were pictured digging down to get to the huge device near residential streets
Train services on the Cross City line were also suspended, with the Birmingham New Street to Lichfield service cancelled as the track runs alongside the A38.
Sabrina Harley, 18, lives near Aston railway station and said she had received no official information about where to go tonight.
She said: ‘I’ve heard nothing. I heard about what was going on this morning but I don’t know whether we are allowed back home tonight.’
Another evacuated resident said: ‘When I left this afternoon I was told I would not be allowed back.
‘The police officer who knocked the door told us to stay inside and to keep all our doors and windows shut.
‘When I asked how long we would be evacuated for he said he didn’t know. He said it could be a few hours or could be longer.
‘I know I should have taken more and packed properly but I was in a panic. I didn’t expect to answer my door to that news and I didn’t expect it to last this long.’
Meanwhile, police have said the cordon may even be extended.
Birmingham Police Commander Chris Johnson said: ‘There is the possibility we may have to extend the cordon on advice from experts.
‘We don’t take decisions like this lightly but public safety has to be our number one priority.
‘Hundreds of homes have been evacuated and we are working with our partners to provide emergency accommodation.
Police evacuated the surrounding area and patrolled nearby streets after the bomb was found
The closure of the main road in the north of Birmingham has caused long tailbacks
‘There have been some difficulties in accessing the device given the terrain and its position within a construction site.
‘I recognise the impact on people’s lives that incidents like this cause, and I would like to thank the public for their understanding and support at this time.’
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: ‘An area of Aston has been cordoned off after an unexploded WWII explosive device was uncovered at a construction site in Priory Road.
‘Officers were called around 9.45am following the discovery; after consultation a 500m perimeter has been put in place as a precaution.
‘This has meant that a number of businesses and houses in the area have been evacuated as a precaution and the A38 Aston Expressway has been closed in both directions.
‘It is understood that some train services will be affected as the train lines run parallel to the A38.’
The unexploded bomb was found less than a mile from Aston Villa’s Villa Park football