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Students at University of Essex evacuated after bomb threat

Students and staff were evacuated at around midday (Jess Clayton-Berry)

Update: The cordon has now been lifted, and police have confirmed that the package posed no threat to the public.

Part of the University of Essex's campus was cordoned off after a suspicious package was found.

Students and staff at the Colchester-based university were told to leave the campus while police waited for a bomb disposal team to arrive.

The package was reported to Essex Police at 11.50am, who then put a 100m cordon in place.

Four hours later, with the evacuation still ongoing, the University tweeted: "Part of our Colchester Campus has been evacuated, after a suspicious package was reported on Campus.

"All timetabled teaching events have been cancelled, please make your way home. We expect to be open as usual tomorrow."

This video from the scene shows people leaving the university buildings

Its the latest in a series of bomb threats to hit the UK over the past few days.

Yesterday saw three similar envelopes delivered to Heathrow and London City airports, as well as London Waterloo station. One of them caught fire when opened, and they are now being investigated by anti-terror police.

Today there have been evacuations at the University of Glasgow and the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh. At the moment, police are not treating the incidents as linked. 

Students have now been told to go home if they can (Carolina Garriga)

People on the campus have been sharing photos from the scene, like this one from Ed Brereton

Young people considering attending the university have also been caught up in the events, as an open day for UCAS offer holders was being held.

Writing on Twitter, Megan Amos said: "Unfortunate day for an Applicant Day at the University of Essex, the square's been evacuated, police are on campus and awaiting the ministry of defence."

Another of the students affected is Adnan Pavel, who says the bomb threat interrupted his lesson on war and peace.

He wrote on Facebook: "I was at an interesting seminar at University of Essex on 'War, Foreign Aid, and Lasting Peace' then suddenly whole university has been evacuated as a suspicious package has been found, a bomb threat!

"British police is attending the situation now along with specialists from 'Ministry of Defence'. What a dangerous world we live in today!"

Writing on Twitter, one student said it came as a bit of a surprise...


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