Bomb scare as unattended packages cause closure of Romford station and part of town centre

Fears of a bomb in Romford Town Centre caused businesses and shoppers to be evacuated on Tuesday.

Unattended packages at Romford train station led to British Transport Police investigating the scene for around an hour on Tuesday afternoon.

The area around the station and a section of South Street were taped off and other businesses were ordered to put their shutters down, while roads were closed and buses diverted.

News of the incident spread rapidly on internet social networking sites like Twitter.

Just before 3pm, Jack Payne said on the website: “Just been evacuated from my office by Romford station apparently they’ve found something suspicious on the train. Stay clear no joke!”

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Other people in the area told the Recorder about their different reactions to the incident.

Sam Buny, from Pit Shop Barbers, said: “We were told to evacuate but it was only afterwards that I was told it was a bomb scare.

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“It’s scary because I am right under the [railway] bridge.”

Lee Diamond, who works in the Moon & Stars Pub, South Street, said: “We had a packed pub at the time so a lot of people didn’t want to leave.

“They were saying that they had just ordered their drinks and meals, a lot of people were very dismissive of the whole thing, they didn’t think that it was a bomb.

“I think if it was in London they would have taken it more seriously.”

Others pointed to heightened security in the run up to the Olympics.

Mary Dixon commented on the Recorder’s Facebook page that the incident was probably ‘paranoia in the run up to the Olympics’.

A nearby shop worker, who did not want to be named, said: “I thought that it was something to do with the Olympics.

“I didn’t really think much of it at the time because I thought that it is something that we are going to see a lot of over the Olympics.”

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “BTP and Metropolitan Police officers attended the incident and investigated the items, which were subsequently declared non-suspicious, with no cause for alarm.”

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