Bomb-disposal team worked through night to deal with device found in Brondesbury Park, which had prompted evacuations and school closures.

A second world war bomb that forced schools and homes in London to be evacuated has been defused.

The device, weighing 500lb (227kg), was found by builders working on a development in Brondesbury Park, north-west London, late on Thursday morning, on The Avenue, near the junction of Willesden Lane.

The Metropolitan police, London fire brigade and an army bomb-disposal team were scrambled to the scene, where a cordon was erected and homes were evacuated.

The team worked through the night and police said on Friday evening the bomb had been defused and was being removed from the site.

Efforts to remove it had led to disruption on trains and bus services.

Nearly 30 schools, nurseries, and parent and toddler groups were also affected on Friday, including 10 school closures.

Brent council’s emergency planning team set up a rest centre at St Martin’s church in Kensal Green on Thursday. British Red Cross volunteers were drafted in to support affected locals.

The leader of Brent council, Muhammed Butt, said 78 residents had spent Thursday night in a hotel, while the Met said bad weather had delayed the removal of the bomb.

Robin Mills, who lives in The Avenue, told the Kilburn Times: “From what I could see, [the device] was about six feet long and about a foot wide.” He described being evacuated for the first time as feeling “a bit strange”, saying: “I can imagine what people in the war times must have felt.”

In 2012, the Bomb Sight project attempted to map the incendiary devices that fell on London between 7 October 1940 and 6 June 1941. Created by Dr Catherine Jones of Portsmouth University and the National Archives, the map reveals the damage inflicted by German bombing raids during the blitz.

– The Guardian