THOUSANDS of homes have been evacuated and 12 uni halls closed after an eight-foot World War II 'bomb' was discovered in a city centre.

Cops and bomb disposal teams were called to Exeter after the suspected ordnance was found at a building site yesterday morning.

Royal Navy ordnance disposal squads spent the night working at the site – but police have this morning announced 2,000 homes will need to be emptied.

An 100-metre cordon was initially put in place around the device.

However, worried officers have now extended it to 400 metres over concerns for the safety of the public.

A spokesperson from Devon and Cornwall Police said the device, which measures a whopping eight foot by 27 inches, was found on private land in Glenthorne Road, just outside the city's university.

"An initial 100-metre cordon was erected," they said.

"The evacuation commenced yesterday evening and continued this morning at the request of the Royal Navy bomb disposal team, who worked through the night to establish a walled mitigation structure.

"The examination and detonation of the device has been passed to the Army."

Specially-trained Army units began examining the ordnance at 10am.

It's expected their work could take several hours, but police say they hope people will be able to return home by the end of the day.

Cops said: "Residents should be reassured that military, police and partners are working to maintain public safety.

"Exemptions in Covid-19 social distancing rules exist for matters of public safety such as this."

More to follow…

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