Mithras House evacuated as bomb squad are called for ‘suspicious package’

Mithras House and the surrounding area were locked down last Friday 21st February after a suspicious package was found.

The A270 Lewes Road and Dewe Road in the Moulsecoomb area was closed on Friday 21st February as police were called after a ‘suspicious package’ was discovered.

The police wrote on social media at 2pm, “Following a report of a suspicious package, Dewe Road, the A270 (Lewes Road) and surrounding roads are currently closed.’’ They stated that they have implemented “a 100m cordon in place for safety. Affected homes and buildings are being evacuated as precaution.”

Amongst those evacuated was Mithras House in Moulsecoomb campus and nearby building sites. Initially, only part of Mithras House was evacuated whilst the rest was placed on lockdown. However, after police further assessing the scene, they made the decision to evacuate the entire building. 

The university announced on Twitter “We are following police advice and as a precaution, the adjacent Mithras House building has been evacuated. The rest of Moulsecoomb campus is open as normal.” The media arrived swiftly with the BBC covering the incident

At 3.20pm the police stated, “We have reopened the A270 Lewes Road, Brighton in both directions. The closure of Dewe Road and the surrounding cordon remains in place as we investigate a report of a suspicious package.”

Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) teams were called to the scene in Dewe Road while people were asked by the police to avoid the area and find alternative travel routes. The bomb squad arrived at around 3:15 as bystanders from nearby streets gathered to watch. 

At around 3.45pm, multiple onlookers said they heard two “explosions” on the road. This came as the bomb squad deployed a robot to assist with the incident. In addition, an agent wearing a blast suit was also deployed to the scene according to residents. 

The police later confirmed Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) carried out a “controlled explosion”.  At 6pm, a police spokesman said: “EOD are continuing to assess the scene. Affected homes and buildings remain evacuated and some roads remain closed. We apologise for the disruption.”

Travel was disrupted across the city until late afternoon with buses being delayed and having limited stops. The scene was later cleared by the police as safe and has been reopened as normal.

Hameem Hasan

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