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Police continue to question man after bomb drama in Bitterne Park area of Southampton
OFFICERS are today continuing to question a man after a suspicious device was found at a city home.
Disposal experts spent several hours examining the suspicious device in Manor Farm Road, as neighbours within a 100m no-go-zone were evacuated for their safety - just yards from a primary school.
A remote-controlled robot was drafted in to search the scene around the house before Navy experts carried out a controlled explosion at the property.
Last night police confirmed that a 41-year-old man from Southampton was arrested at a nearby address on suspicion of making an explosive device.
Neighbours told the Daily Echo that those renting the house at the centre of the drama - a man and a disabled woman who had lived there for about eight years - had moved out last week and it was the agent who was clearing the property who discovered the suspicious device at 9.40am.
A 100m cordon was quickly established around the two-storey home and those living with the cordon were evacuated, leaving many with no option by to camp out in a nearby car park.
However nearby school Bitterne Park Primary and Riverside Pre-school were both unaffected by the drama unfolding outside.
Passersby watched on as officers moved to and from the house, including Navy personnel who were using a remote-controlled robot to scan the area around the house.
Oaktree Road and Dimond Road were also closed, forcing parents to park up in neighbouring streets and walk to Bitterne Primary School, which was just outside the cordon, to pick up their children.
After several hours of examining the device, a controlled explosion was carried out at the property and it was taken away for further investigation just before 3.30pm.
Crime scene investigators remained at the scene as their investigations continued into the evening, but the cordon was lifted soon after the bomb disposal team left.
The front bay window of the house was boarded up from the inside, which neighbours say happened as a result of the bomb scare, and there were several padlocks on the front door.
A police spokesperson confirmed that although investigations were ongoing, they believed it was an “isolated incident” and posed “no immediate threat” to the public.
One of those neighbours who was unable to get to her home was mum-of-two Jane Eastman, 33, a health care assistant, who came home from work to find her street sealed off.
She said: “I came home at 2pm and I couldn't get in. They said the whole road had been evacuated and my dog was still inside.
“When I left for work this morning it was clear.
“I was worried it was my house. I was relieved when it wasn't.
“It was more the fact that no one said exactly what it was.”
Another neighbour, who was evacuated from his home with his wife for three hours was 71-year-old David Janaway,
He added: “First of all we saw the police coming up and stopping all around here. Then the agent for the lady who rents next door said the road would be evacuated and at midday the police evacuated us.
“We heard there was an object in the garden. It would have had to be a big bomb to knock these houses down.”
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