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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Anti-terrorism unit to probe discovery (UK)

Counter-terrorism intelligence officers and bomb disposal experts were called to a beauty spot after two suspect packages were found floating in a lake.

The discovery was made yesterday at Corby boating lake, in Cottingham Road, an area popular with families, walkers and anglers.

Police said although the contents of the two packages could potentially make up an explosive device, neither were viable.

The drama started at 8am when anglers fished an object from the lake, sparking an evacuation of the area. One package, wrapped in a black bin liner, contained a glass jar packed with nails, a lighter, gas canisters, batteries and a strong-smelling liquid. The other held similar contents.

Police were called and the area, including the boating lake cafe, was immediately evacuted.

Roadblocks were set up at the junction of Willow Brook Road and Cottingham Road and outside the nearby Willowbrook Health Centre. Officers cordoned off a large area around the lake and stopped people using the footpath which leads through the woods to the town centre.

Police, paramedics and firefighters were also on the scene as cafe staff waited to find out if they could collect their vehicles, parked behind the police cordon.

People turning up at the police roadblock, hoping to keep appointments at Willowbrook Health Centre, were turned back and told to get to the complex from the Westcott Way end of Cottingham Road.

Passers-by gathered during the morning to watch events unfold and at the end of the lake furthest away from where the packages were discovered men continued to fish and people sat on benches as emergency services carried out their investigation.

Carl McCardine was working in the cafe when the packages were found. He said: “There were about 20 customers in at the time, some of them were members of a walking group. We were told to evacuate the cafe and get out of the area. Everyone was very calm.”

At about 1.30pm Cottingham Road was re-opened and cafe staff were allowed to remove their vehicles from the car park.

Evening Telegraph