Manchester Piccadilly Gardens cordon over ‘suspicious devices’

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Media captionA robot is sent to Manchester city centre after a suspicious package is found

Part of Manchester city centre was cordoned off and a man detained after two suspicious devices were found.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) evacuated Piccadilly Gardens and a bomb disposal robot was used to examine the packages.

GMP said it was keeping an “open mind” over links to a third device, which led to Oldham Library being evacuated.

Police said none of the devices was viable and a 26-year-old man was in custody.

Image caption Bomb disposal officers were later sent into Piccadilly Gardens

The suspect was questioned on suspicion of a bomb hoax offence, possessing a prohibited weapon, possessing a bladed article and possessing an offensive weapon.

A cordon was put in place at about 13:30 BST, but Piccadilly Gardens was re-opened to the public at about 20:00.

Small cordons remain in both locations as inquiries are carried out.

A loud noise heard at 18:15 was caused by bomb disposal officers as part of their assessment to ensure the package was safe, police said.

Image caption Armed police remained at the scene of the Manchester package this evening

Transport services, including the Metrolink, were affected as a result of the cordon.

Witnesses described seeing police going through a bag on the ground.

Police said Oldham Library, eight miles north-east of the city centre, had also been evacuated as part of their inquiries after reports a “suspicious device” was found there.

The device was deemed to be “non-viable”.

Image copyright Manchester Evening News
Image caption The Army’s Royal Logistics Corps was at the scene of the device at Oldham library

A police spokesman said: “Officers are keeping an open mind and are exploring the possibility the incidents are linked.”

Supt Dave Pester added: “The investigation will look at every available piece of information so we can understand the motivation behind it and the circumstances that surround it.”



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