Controlled explosion of suspect package found at Glasgow University

Glasgow UniversityImage copyright D Kelly
Image caption Police, fire brigade and bomb disposal experts were called to the university

A controlled explosion has been carried out after a suspect package was found in the University of Glasgow mailroom.

Bomb disposal officers were called in after a number of university buildings were evacuated at about 10:50 on Wednesday.

The package was not opened and no one was injured, police confirmed.

Police Scotland confirmed it was working with the Metropolitan Police over suspect packages found in London on Tuesday.

Image caption Lectures and tutorials were cancelled and roads cordoned off

The university said it was acting under advice from Police Scotland as it closed a number of buildings, cancelled classes and sent staff home.

The package was discovered just one hour before another suspicious item was discovered at the University of Essex.

A 100m cordon was placed around a section of the university while Essex Police launched an investigation.

Explosives in London

On Tuesday counter-terror police launched an investigation into three packages containing explosives found at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station.

The “small improvised explosive devices” were found in A4 postal bags, the Metropolitan Police said.

The force’s Counter Terrorism Command is treating it as a “linked series” and “keeping an open mind” about motives.

Irish police are assisting the Met as the Heathrow and Waterloo packages had Republic of Ireland stamps.

Image caption The device sent to Heathrow Airport caught fire when staff opened it

Scotland Yard said the packages were all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags. One caught fire when opened by staff at Heathrow.

The airport said it would support the police investigation into the “criminal act”.

Police Scotland liaising with Met Police

Regarding the suspect parcel found in Glasgow, Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said his officers were continuing their enquiries into “a suspicious package”.

He explained: “The package was not opened and no one was injured. The emergency services were alerted and several buildings within the estate were evacuated as a precaution. A controlled explosion of the device was carried out.”

A number of police cordons in and around University Avenue in the west end of Glasgow remain in place until further notice. However, police made it clear there was no ongoing risk to the public.

ACC Johnson added: “Police Scotland is liaising with the Metropolitan Police in relation to their investigation into packages received in London yesterday.

“However, it is too early to say whether there is a link.

“Inquiries have established that a package received at the Royal Bank of Scotland building on Glasgow Road Edinburgh today posed no risk to the public and contained promotional goods.”

Image copyright Gideon Green
Image caption Key roads around the university were closed following the alert to police

A number of buildings at the University of Glasgow were closed off including the Boyd Orr Building, the mailroom, OTC, Wolfson Medical Building and Bower Building.

Others sites that were later closed included the Isabella Elder Building, James McCune Smith Learning Hub, the Joseph Black Building, the Kelvin Building and University Gardens.

Classes in these buildings were cancelled with hundreds of students affected. Staff members were later sent home.

Image caption Hundreds of students have been affected by the evacuation of university buildings

University Gardens and part of University Avenue were cordoned off by police.

However, at about 16:00, the university tweeted that police had advised the incident was “now over”.

The tweet read: “Minor restrictions will remain in place around the Isabella Elder building and Botany Gate while the Mailroom will remain closed for now. All other buildings are being reopened.”

A spokesman confirmed all university buildings, except the mailroom, were operating as normal.

Earlier on Wednesday the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ at Gogarburn in Edinburgh was also evacuated after a similar report.

However, Police Scotland confirmed that the package posed no risk to the public and contained promotional goods.

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