Police confirm 'suspicious' object which sparked major alert in Burnley was a suitcase

The scene yesterday in Todmorden Road, close to Burnley Cricket Club, where bomb disposal officers were called in to deal with a 'suspicious' package.
The scene yesterday in Todmorden Road, close to Burnley Cricket Club, where bomb disposal officers were called in to deal with a 'suspicious' package.

Police have today confirmed that the 'suspicious' object discovered at Burnley Cricket Club, which sparked a major alert, was a suitcase.

Bomb squad detectives were called in after the case was found on the premises just before lunch-time.

A 200 metre cordon was put in place around the club in Belvedere Road and residents from 50 homes and businesses in the surrounding area were evacuated to St Peter's Leisure Centre as a precautionary measure.

Several roads were closed to traffic while specialist teams from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit worked at the scene.

After several hours the case was declared to be safe and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "Residents were all back in their homes by around 5-30pm.

"The evacuation was carried out as a necessary precaution but the case was found to be safe in the end."

Several residents close to the area reported hearing loud, 'banging' type sounds coming from the vicinity of the club but the police spokesman said a controlled explosion did not take place.

The spokesman added: "The operation did involve some kind of noise which is probably what residents will have heard but a controlled explosion was not necessary."

Police have thanked the public for their patience and understanding while the operation was carried out.