A bomb disposal squad has been dispatched to investigate a “suspicious item” found in a house in North West England, sparking a major incident as homes were evacuated.
Officers found the item at an address on Steel Street, Ulverston, on Wednesday afternoon after responding to concerns about the welfare of a man living there.
Cumbria Police said a 46-year-old man was arrested and held in custody overnight. A 100-metre cordon was put in place on Steel Street and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was called to assess a “potential electrical issue”.
The road was closed between Sir John Barrow Way and Steel Street and motorists were being asked to avoid this area where possible. Some 53 homes nearby were evacuated as a safety precaution.
North Lonsdale Road between Sir John Barrow Way and Steel Street was also closed and motorists were asked to avoid the area. Both roads remained closed as of 6:52am on Thursday morning as the EOD team continued its work.
Mick Bird, Cumbria Constabulary chief superintendent, said: “A major incident has been declared to coordinate the activity of numerous agencies in providing a comprehensive response to support residents who have been evacuated from their homes.
“An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is ongoing with their assessment, which may last a number of hours.
“The priority of this response is to ensure the safety of all residents. As soon as it is deemed safe to do so, residents will be allowed to return to their homes.
“I would like to thank once again those impacted by this evacuation for their continued patience.”
Westmorland & Furness Council has opened a reception centre at Ulverston Leisure Centre for those who have been evacuated and require accommodation.
Police in Cumbria recently declared a major incident following heavy snowfall in the area that saw some worried travellers abandoning their cars.
The fire and rescue service said it worked through the night last Saturday to rescue people who had been trapped in deep snow.
More than 2,500 people in the county were left without electricity on Sunday morning due to power cuts caused by the weather.
Power cuts followed Saturday’s heavy snow in Cumbria, with the Met Office issuing new weather warnings for across the UK on Sunday morning.
More adverse weather was expected across swathes of the UK on Thursday.
Heavy rain was set to batter large parts of the country, with the Met Office issuing 10 new weather warnings.
Parts of southern, central and northern England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were expected to experience downpours after days of ice and snow caused disruption, school closures and power cuts.
Temperatures have eased slightly after days of sub-zero weather, giving way to more than 100 flood warnings and alerts across the UK.