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Whittington Hospital becomes crime scene after “bomb hoax”

19:11 14 August 2012

Ambulances queue at the bottom of Highgate Hill. Picture: @fairtradesleuth

Ambulances queue at the bottom of Highgate Hill. Picture: @fairtradesleuth

Archant

Police are believed to be investigating a “bomb hoax” at the Whittington Hospital after 200 patients and staff had to be evacuated.

The Met’s bomb squad was called to the hospital near Highgate at around 4pm on Tuesday (August 14) when a suspect package was spotted in the A&E department. Patients in the emergency and neighbouring wards had to be relocated as officers moved in.

A police spokeswoman said the package was “checked and cleared” by 6pm.

Police are now treating the area as a crime scene and interviewing doctors, nurses and patients, it is claimed.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “The bomb disposal unit was informed and attended the scene. Following their investigation it was confirmed that the device was a hoax.

“The emergency department is now being treated as a crime scene.”

A police spokeswoman refused to identify what the package was and would not confirm whether the incident had been a hoax. She said “enquiries were ongoing”.

Andy McGlinchley, 33, who works in the pathology department, said: “We heard a rumour that something was going on and we looked out of the window and saw police everywhere.

“Pretty soon the security came up and evacuated us – we were one of the last because we work on the fifth floor.”

Eyewitness Mario Kurt said: “There was a helicopter hovering overhead and police are everywhere. We heard there was a suspicious package that has been found.”

The hospital was expected to reopen before 7pm.

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