The Aston Expressway is expected to remain closed on Tuesday (16/05) while bomb disposal experts make safe an unexploded WW2 shell.

Construction staff working at a site off Priory Road, Aston, came across the device during routine work at around 9.45am this morning (15/05) − and it was quickly identified as a German shell weighing up to 500lbs.

A 500-metre cordon was put in place on the advice of explosives experts which has enforced the closure of the A38 both into and out of the city.

Some businesses and houses lying within the exclusion zone have been evacuated as a precaution and rail services have been affected.

Birmingham Police Commander Chris Johnson, said: “An initial assessment from Army bomb disposal suggests this is a large explosive device − that’s why an extensive cordon has been put in place for public safety.

“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.

“There have been some difficulties in accessing the device given the terrain and its position within a construction site − but all agencies involved are working as quickly as possible to bring the situation to a safe conclusion with brave military staff risking their safety to ensure that of the public.”

“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.”

(Image: Marty Bear)