Shopping centre evacuated

Mark Rycraft

Mark Rycraft

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HUNDREDS of people were evacuated from a shopping centre as bosses carried out a training exercise.

Around 200 shoppers were ushered out of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in Hartlepool, as centre management took part in training for their evacuation procedures.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “We haven’t had any evacuation exercises this year and under legislative requirements, they must be carried out at least twice a year.

“We did this to comply with the regulations and also used it as a training exercise for staff.”

The 10-minute evacuation took place around 9.30am yesterday.

Staff worked on scenarios including what would happen if a fire broke out.

This included evacuation, a roll-call of staff and tenants, and identifying the cause of the alarm.

Staff were debriefed afterwards.

Mr Rycraft added: “Staff get a lot out of exercises like this.

“There is always something that should be improved in these types of exercise.

“This relays back to staff training and information or staff communication.”