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7 June 2011, 11:44
A 100 metre cordon has been put in place around Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Southfields Road in Kempston after a suspicious package was delivered there this morning.
Trains returning to normal after security incident. Delays of 40 minutes still being reported.
The incident at the Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service HQ in Kempston has now concluded after an examination of the suspicious package by the bomb squad found it to be a hoax.
The cordon has now been removed and all roads and rail lines have reopened. Staff who were evacuated from Fire Service HQ in Southfields Road have resumed working and all residents affected have returned to their homes.
A Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said: “We apologise for the disruption that has been caused by this incident but on occasions such as this public safety is paramount.”
During the incident fire cover was unaffected with emergency calls and deployments operating as usual.
An investigation into who sent the package and why will be carried out. Anyone with information that could help police with their enquiries should contact Bedford CID on 01234 841212, text 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The Bomb Squad are at the scene and making their assessment.
East Midlands and First Capital Connect trains remain suspended.
The Fire Service contacted Bedfordshire Police at 10.20am after the small package was found following a routine Royal Mail delivery. When staff opened it, its suspicious appearance prompted them to contact the emergency services.
The Bomb Squad has been notified and is on their way although not expected to arrive before midday. As a precaution, staff from Fire HQ and a handful of residents have been evacuated and are gathering temporarily at The Mulberrybush pub in Orchard Road. Pupils at the nearby schools have been asked to remain inside until the matter is resolved.
The roads encompassed by the cordon and therefore currently affected by closures are the walkways and roads to the left and right of Elstow Road up to the junction with Margetts Road and down to Ampthill Road. The railway line is also within the cordon and trains are likely to be temporarily affected.
Anyone with information that could help police identify who sent the package should call the main switchboard on 01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.