Ipswich: Emergency services praised after bomb alert near Ipswich Town

Emergency services were praised today after acting quickly when potentially explosive devices were discovered at a recycling centre.

The shock discovery of devices at Portmans Walk household waste and recycling centre yesterday resulted in bomb disposal experts being called to the scene.

Other emergency services also launched into action at around noon when staff at the centre near Ipswich Town football ground found a black bag which contained the devices – later discovered to be spent.

Staff evacuated the site while police closed off part of Sir Alf Ramsey Way to traffic.

A specialist bomb disposal unit from Colchester Garrison was called in to assess the danger the devices posed.

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But shortly before 2pm it was confirmed they were redundant and the centre was reopened to the public.

Two army signal flares and a smoke grenade were among the used devices found in the waste for landfill container.

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Mark Deer, household waste services manager at Suffolk County Council (SCC), said the site’s CCTV would be studied to discover the man that dropped off the black bag.

He said: “If we can find him we’ll educate him about what he’s done.

“It’s annoying that people put staff at risk. We crush everything and the devices could have caused problems for staff and the equipment.”

Suffolk police confirmed they were not launching an investigation into the incident.

Jayne Farthing, a recycling assistant, said she uncovered the suspected bombs while combing the rubbish for recyclables.

Colin Spence, portfolio holder for public protection at SCC, said: “The situation today was handled by emergency services with great speed and professionalism.

“We would like to urge anybody who discovers what they believe to be an explosive device to contact the emergency services immediately, move away from the area and not handle the objects.”

East of England Ambulance Service sent one ambulance and three rapid response vehicles to the scene. They stood by while army bomb disposal experts made the scene safe.

Mr Deer said there were around two incidents a year across Suffolk’s 18 household waste and recycling centres where suspected explosive devices were found.

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