Search

Loud explosion in Romford town centre as suspect package is blown up

PUBLISHED: 09:38 16 January 2015 | UPDATED: 18:09 16 January 2015

(Picture: Chris Cockram/Twitter)

(Picture: Chris Cockram/Twitter)

Archant

A bomb squad this morning blew up a suspicious package left on a ramp outside the Liberty in Romford town centre.

Mercury Gardens, Western Road and Main Road are affected (Picture: Chris Cockram/Twitter)Mercury Gardens, Western Road and Main Road are affected (Picture: Chris Cockram/Twitter)

The incident led to a dramatic evacuation of the shopping centre, as well as nearby offices including Havering Council’s Mercury House.

Mercury Gardens between Main Road and Western Road was closed between 8.30am and 10am and buses were put on diversions.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion after a locked suitcase was discovered.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “Police in Havering are dealing this morning, Friday 16 January, with a suspect package found on a service road near to the Liberty Shopping Centre, Romford.

A view of the ramp, in the background, which is thought to have been where the package, a suitcase, was found (Picture: Sam Gelder)A view of the ramp, in the background, which is thought to have been where the package, a suitcase, was found (Picture: Sam Gelder)

“At around 08:30hrs the shopping centre and surrounding offices were evacuated.”

The area reopened at about 10am after a controlled explosion of package was carried out.

Liberty centre manager Jonathan Poole said: “In line with procedure and as a precautionary measure The Liberty was evacuated at 9:15am this morning following the discovery of an unattended package.

“Police attended to investigate the item and the centre was reopened at 10:05am. We thank shoppers, local residents and the police for their help and cooperation.”

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Lots of police are in the town centre and a man has been rushed to hospital following a stabbing outside Lidl.

58 minutes ago

London’s Air Ambulance reportedly landed in Upminster Park this afternoon after a man suffered a medical emergency in the town centre.

Havering Council has set up a hotline to reassure worried residents after financial problems at one of the UK’s largest home care providers raised concerns that services might be disrupted from as early as December 1.

13:00

Romford’s Raphael Park is set to undergo improvements after parkrun organisers secured nearly £3,000 worth of funding to install rubber matting around the bandstand at the park.

A Chadwell Heath care home has been ranked as “good” in all areas.

15:31

In support of a three-year-old with cancer, the Havering Asian Society held a special event celebrating the festival of lights which raised funds for her Leukaemia appeal.

Commuters can expect cancellations and delays of up to 20 minutes on Greater Anglia trains towards Straford due to a defective track between Goodmayes and Seven Kings.

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations this morning due to a signal failure on the TfL Rail line.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now