'Discarded suitcase' causes bomb scare at Nottingham's Victoria Centre

Victoria Centre
Image caption Nottingham's intu Victoria Centre was evacuated just before 11:30 BST

A discarded suitcase filled with clothes and electrical equipment sparked a bomb scare which led to the evacuation of a city shopping centre.

Nottingham's intu Victoria Centre was emptied just before 11:30 BST after the discovery of a "suspicious package" in the upper mall.

Police later confirmed no explosive device was found in the suitcase.

A cordon will remain in place while officers continue to investigate the incident.

Image caption Residents reported hearing an "explosion", but police confirmed no explosive devices were found and no explosion took place

Residents in flats above the centre reported hearing an "explosion" at about 15:30 but Nottinghamshire Police - who had urged those residents to stay indoors - said no such explosion took place.

The closure of the centre temporarily stopped a number of bus services in the city.

Image copyright Pandora Forsyth
Image caption The suspicious package is believed to have been a discarded suitcase containing clothing and electrical equipment

Supt Steve Cartwright urged people to keep their belongings with them at all times "to help avoid any repeat of today's events".

"We appreciate the evacuation will have caused inconvenience to many on a busy Bank Holiday weekend and we would like to place on record our thanks to each and every person...for their patience and understanding while officers and partners worked to bring this incident to a swift and safe conclusion," he said.

A shopping centre spokesman said customers would be able to collect their vehicles from the centre's car parks and leave free of charge once the centre reopens.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption A number of bus routes stopped operating while officers investigated the package

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites