Update: Man arrested and homes evacuated in Mexborough after explosives found in house

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A 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives following concerns that prompted the evacuation of around 50 homes in South Yorkshire.

Police said the evacuation was taking place at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster.

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

A spokeswoman said: “Residents are currently being evacuated from Chestnut Grove in Mexborough, and the surrounding area, following the discovery of potentially hazardous material at a property.

“A cordon has been put in place while the material is assessed, to ensure the safety of the public.

“Officers from South Yorkshire Police and partner agencies, including South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, are currently at the scene.

“South Yorkshire Police would like to thank members of the public for their patience and co-operation while inquiries continue.”

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

The spokeswoman confirmed a 55-year-old man had been arrested.

Speaking at the scene, Superintendent Liz Watson said officers acted on information that a local man had been buying items which could be explosive if put together.

She said: “The police had received some information regarding a gentleman that lives in the local area that’s been purchasing hazardous material.

“That gentleman has been arrested and this morning police forensic officers have come to do a specialist search of his home address.

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

Emergency services at Chestnut Grove, Mexborough, near Doncaster, where a 55-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing explosives.

“On entering there they’ve found a number of hazardous materials that potentially could be explosive.

“Because of that we’ve had to seal off that address and evacuate a number of residents until we can be sure that there’s nothing that’s likely to explode or cause any harm to occupants or neighbours in that vicinity.”

Ms Watson was speaking as Army bomb disposal officers were seen coming and going at the bungalow in the cul-de-sac.

A large area around the street has been cordoned off and a number of police vehicles and ambulances were parked at the nearby Highwoods pub.

Ms Watson said: “At the address at the moment we’ve got the Army bomb disposal unit along with fire and rescue specialists and forensic specialists just looking at what material there is there and recover those items.

“We’re hoping the search will finish later on this evening so we can then get residents back home.”

The officer said some families had gone to stay with relatives but others were being looked after at a family centre in Mexborough.

She said Doncaster Council was helping in the operation which was made more difficult as a number of those evacuated were vulnerable OAPs.

“Obviously there’s quite a bit of concern that this is happening within their local area and one of their neighbours is potentially making what we believe are explosives,” Ms Watson said.

“Being turfed out of their homes on a Saturday morning - in particular some vulnerable elderly people - it obviously caused some upset in the community.

“I think they realise the seriousness of it and the fact that we’re having to do this to protect them and make sure no-one comes to harm.”