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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.

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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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