‘Fake’ bomb brings part of York to standstill

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A SUSPECTED bomb which brought part of York to a standstill yesterday turned out to be a harmless ornament.

Police cordons were put in place after what was thought to be an explosive device was discovered by workmen on a building site. The evacuations that resulted brought chaos to the city.

Bus services in the area surrounding the new park and ride site at Askham Bar had to be diverted during the scare and around 20 workers were told to clear the site, while York College and the nearby Tesco superstore were evacuated. Thousands of motorists faced tailbacks after Tadcaster Road was closed.

North Yorkshire Police declared a major incident shortly before 4pm.

Speaking at the time, a spokesman for the force said: “The site has been evacuated and a 100-metre cordon is currently in place.

“The Army are on their way to the scene to assess the device.”

The object was initially believed to be a Second World War mortar shell.

But officers were swiftly told to stand down when a disposal team dismissed the “bomb” as a fake shortly after arriving at the scene.

Explosives experts identified it as an “ornamental device designed to look like a bomb”, made of nothing more than wood and lead. After giving the site the all-clear, bomb disposal teams left the scene and roads were re-opened at around 7pm.

North Yorkshire Police tweeted: “Good news confirmed by bomb disposal that the mortar shell is safe.”

Workmen are expected to return to the site as normal today.