Updated: Sunday, 20th April 2014 @ 5:36am

Manchester bomb scare: Thousands evacuated from Piccadilly offices and Chinatown as police suspend Metrolink

Manchester bomb scare: Thousands evacuated from Piccadilly offices and Chinatown as police suspend Metrolink

By Andrew Bardsley & Glen Keogh

Bomb disposal experts are en route to Manchester city centre after a suspicious package was found this morning

Police were called to New York Street at 7:35am after a package was found near the Mecure Manchester Piccadilly hotel.

All offices in the immediate vicinity have been evacuated and a 100metre cordon has been put in place.

Superintendent Neil Bhole said: “I appreciate that this incident is causing significant disruption to commuters and businesses but the safety and welfare of the public is our top priority.

“We are investigating a suspicious package and at this stage we don’t know the extent of this.

“We make no apologies for the steps taken to ensure a safe resolution to this incident and we are working as quickly as possible.

“I would urge the public to bear with us while we deal with this incident.”


TRAMS SUSPENDED: Empty tram travels through cordon to safety


EERIE: Piccadilly Gardens deserted as thousands evacuated by police

Trams and buses on Piccadilly Gardens, Mossley Street and Market Street have been suspended as emergency services contain the situation.

A spokesman for Metrolink said: “A major incident in Manchester city centre this morning has resulted in changes to bus and Metrolink services. All buses coming into the
city centre from the south of the city will not call at bus stands in Portland, Moseley and Parker Streets.

“Metrolink services will not call at Piccadilly Gardens and Moseley Street stops and will terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield, Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly.

“These changes are until further notice and we thank passengers for their patience.”


EVACUATION LINE: No risks taken by emergency services as 100m cordon put in place

An account manager at a company based in Westminster House in the area said their building has been evacuated but they have been refused further information.

A police officer at the scene said he had never seen so many officers panic like this before.
Metrolink drivers have been instructed not to stop in the city centre.

Motorists with cars stuck in the area have been told they will not be able to retrieve them in the meantime.

Chinatown (area) New York St, George St, Portland St, Parker St, Charlotte St, Nicolas St, Faulkner St are all closed.

 


NO GO ZONE: Hub of Manchester city centre in lockdown until bomb squad remove suspicious package


 

More to follow.

Pictures courtesy of @jossshhh @adrianlehner @ropestoinfinity @danieljaustin @GiloSebert

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