By Tania Chakraborti
New Elvet has now re-opened following an ongoing police incident involving a number of historical bomb devices which were handed into Durham City Police Station earlier this afternoon, as reported previously by Palatinate.
Durham University have since released an official email to all students which stated: “The police incident which closed New Elvet is now over. The road closure has been lifted and Elvet Riverside 1 and 2 and Dunelm House are once again accessible.”
Bomb disposal experts from Catterick Garrison were on the scene to ensure the safe disposal of the historical devices and the controlled detonation took place at Maiden Castle Sports Ground, according to an official Facebook post released by Durham Constabulary.
In their post, Durham Constabulary released a photograph of the historical device, stating: “The devices were brought to the front desk at about 2:50pm today (November 6).
“Following advice from bomb disposal experts, the station and surrounding areas were evacuated, a 100 metre cordon put in place, and New Elvet road was closed.”
“The devices were then safely removed from the area and destroyed in a controlled detonation at Maiden Castle Sports Ground.
Chief Inspector Stephen Ball said: “If you find any potentially dangerous items that you would like to hand over to police, please leave them where they are and contact 999.
“We will attend to make sure that the items are properly and safely disposed of.”
As a result of the ongoing incident, many students were affected. Residents were forced to evacuate their homes during the investigation. Giles Lawrence, a second year Van Mildert student and Elvet Crescent resident told Palatinate: “A policeman came to the door and said you need to leave the building”, the policeman claiming there had been an ‘incident’ on New Elvet.
“He told us to walk towards the DSU.”
Giles stated that he had to walk around Durham for a couple of hours without a phone or wallet and could not re-enter his house because of the cordon.
Students who had finished lectures were forced to remain in Elvet Riverside 1 and 2 for approximately an hour in a lockdown whilst the investigation continued.
Speaking to Palatinate within Elvet Riverside 1 at the time of the event, Hild Bede second Year Tara Garman stated her worries whilst forced to remain in the building: “I am confused and I would like to know what is happening.”
Prerana Kumar expressed a slightly different opinion: “I’m not particularly scared but that’s because I don’t know what’s happening yet.”
Image: Students in lockdown in Elvet Riverside 1, photograph by Tania Chakraborti