UPDATE: A1 reopens after terrorism ruled out - but ‘explosion’ remains a mystery

breaking news
breaking news

An explosion which led to the closure of a chunk of the A1 motorway today “remains unexplained”.

but police have recovered “a number of ageing detonators” during their search of the area.

Police recovered “a number of ageing detonators” during a search of the area near Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire.

A six-mile stretch of the A1 near Marne Barracks was closed for most of today after police received reports of an explosion at about 3am.

Officers carried out extensive searches in the area where the explosion was reported, but have found no obvious signs of one happening.

During the course of the day, eight members of the public came forward to report hearing a what they describe as an explosion in the area.

No reports of any injuries were received.

The searches involved specially trained search officers from North Yorkshire Police, experts from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, explosives detection dogs, the National Police Air Service and military search personnel.

Superintendent Dave Hannan of North Yorkshire Police, said: “We are satisfied that the call to the police was made with good intent.

“We appreciate that members of the public will ask why the road had to be shut for so long.

“In view of the location of the suspected explosion, the source of the information, the current threat to UK security and a report a few hours earlier of a vehicle seen in suspicious circumstances outside the barracks, we were not prepared to take any chances with people’s safety, and had to carry out a very extensive and thorough investigation.

“Officers have worked throughout the night and day to identify and locate the driver of the vehicle.

“We are now satisfied that he was not connected to the reported explosion and we have now eliminated him from our enquiries.

“We thank the driver of the vehicle for his patience and cooperation. We have also ruled out any link to terrorism.

“I again extend our thanks to members of the public who were caught up in the congestion for their patience and understanding. Their safety was our prime concern.

“We may never find out what the source of the explosion was, however, following the search and investigation I am now satisfied that there is no threat to members of the public.

“A number of possibilities have been looked into, however, there is no information or evidence to say this reported explosion was a criminal or deliberate act.”

During the course of the search, the Army’s bomb disposal unit was called to the discovery of the box of ageing detonators near the perimeter fence of Marne Barracks.

These here removed for safe disposal, but were not the cause of the reported explosion.