Store evacuated after bomb scare

HUNDREDS of shoppers and staff were evacuated from stores on a Suffolk industrial estate yesterday after a bomb scare.The drama unfolded at 9.15am at the Copdock Retail Park, near Ipswich, when security officers were alerted to the suspect package in a car park.

HUNDREDS of shoppers and staff were evacuated from stores on a Suffolk industrial estate yesterday after a bomb scare.

The drama unfolded at 9.15am at the Copdock Retail Park, near Ipswich, when security officers were alerted to the suspect package in a car park.

The Bomb Disposal Squad from Colchester Garrison was called in to examine the find, while nearby shops Mothercare, Tesco and Burger King were evacuated at around 10.30am.

Police officers sealed off roads around the retail park, while fire crews waited on standby should the worst have happened.


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A police spokesman said: "The Bomb Disposal Squad carried out a controlled explosion on the package.

"It was a holdall which was found by a car in one of the car parks in the area. As a precaution while that was happening, there was an evacuation of various stores.

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"After the package was blown up, various checks were done and it appears that there was nothing suspicious about it."

The spokesman added: "The people who spotted it did exactly the right thing in called the emergency services in – they were vigilant and aware.

"In general terms, people should make sure that they do not leave bags or packages unattended in public places, where they could cause alarm or distress."

A spokeswoman for the Bomb Squad said: "Somebody had left a bag underneath their car by accident or without realising.

"We carried out a controlled explosion but there was nothing in it all – it was a false alarm."

n Ipswich police station was also evacuated yesterday afternoon after a suspected gas leak was reported.

The gas board was called in to investigate a "strong smell of gas" at 1pm, forcing officers and administration staff out of the building.

The all-clear was given at 1.25pm.

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