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Residents tell of relief after ‘bomb’ sparks evacuation in Hartlepool

Richmond Street, in the Oxford Road area of the town, was evacuated after the alert.
Richmond Street, in the Oxford Road area of the town, was evacuated after the alert.

Residents have spoken of their relief after they were cleared from their homes in an evacuation sparked by a suspected bomb.

People living in Richmond Street in the town were asked to leave over safety fears when a miliary item was discovered in one of the terrace houses.

The suspected military device found inside the house.

The suspected military device found inside the house.

The street remained cleared for several hours while experts were called in to assess the suspect artefact.

Cleveland Police officers knocked on doors asking people to leave and closed off the street while the item was checked out.

It is thought the piece of metal was from a shell and it was removed after was found to be inert.

Residents say it was discovered in the loft of a house, which has recently welcomed new occupiers.

It seemed like it was some sort of shell, something from the war days and the new neighbour’s found it.

Street resident

One 39-year-old man said: “I was just sitting in the house and I heard a knock on the door twice, but I ignored it first off.

“When I went out, my neighbour from across the road was already all packed in his car.

“When I asked what was happening, he said we were being evacuated because there were a suspected bomb in the loft, so I said ‘All right, we’re going.’

“Then a police officer came along and ‘I’m sorry, but you’ll all have to get out, there’s an evacuation.’

“My daughter had been out at college and we were trying to get hold of her, but it turned out she was at the gym, so wasn’t able to answer, but we were a bit worried about where she was.

“We went out, got something to eat, but I kept on calling back to see if we could get back in.

“They were waiting for the experts to come down from Sunderland to take a look at it.

“We got moved out at about 4.30pm and we were out for about two hours.

“It seemed like it was some sort of shell, something from the war days and the new neighbour’s found it.

“When I heard they thought it was a bomb, I thought it was a joke, it’s unbelievable.”

Cleveland Police said officers were called to the scene at 3.45pm on Thursday after the “military item” was discovered.

A spokesman said: “A number of residents from nearby houses were evacuated as a precaution while we sought expert opinion from military experts.

“Colleagues from Explosive Ordnance attended the scene, examined the item and declared it inert and therefore safe.

“We would like to thank all those affected for their co-operation and patience while the incident was being resolved.”