'Better safe that sorry' says Wigan resident after latest terror search evacuation

A Wigan resident told Wigan Today 'it's better to be safe than sorry' after the latest terror search evacuation near his home.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 1:08 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:29 pm
Police at the scene as Wigan Lane, Wigan and other roads were closed to motorists and evacuated as the bomb disposal unit were called to a property being searched by police on Springfield Street, Wigan

There was more drama and unease yesterday (Tuesday) as the bomb squad returned and residents were evacuated from their homes for the second time in five days.

Police searched a house on Springfield Street in Swinley again yesterday as part of the investigation into the Manchester Arena attack.

The bomb squad returned and a large number of police officers were in the area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police at the scene as Wigan Lane

They put a cordon in place at around 3pm, closing Wigan Lane between Central Park Way and the Cherry Gardens, and people were urged to avoid the area.

Some residents were evacuated from their homes while others said they were given the option to stay indoors.

Traffic was reported to be gridlocked in the town centre, while ambulance and staff shuttle-buses were the only vehicles being allowed to enter the grounds of nearby Wigan Infirmary.

The cordon was lifted at 4,30pm and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

Police at the scene as Wigan Lane

Wigan Jazz Festival chief Ian Darrington lives within the police cordon. He was away yesterday but wife Monica was preparing once again to evacuate the house.

But both were philosophical about the situation and had nothing but praise for the emergency services.

Mr Darrington said: “Monica rang me to say that the street had been cordoned off and police were everywhere. There has been a very long investigation at the property in Springfield Street and there have been police vehicles outside ever since the alarm was raised last week.

“It’s not really an inconvenience. The first time we were out and arrived back just as it was declared safe to go back. But even if it were an inconvenience it pales into comparison with the security issues at hand.

“We have nothing but praise for the police who have handled everything so calmly and efficiently. Even when the armed officers were out the previous night it was all discretion. We would not have known they were they had we not seen them.

“If needs be Monica can go round to our daughter Mandy’s house. The first time when an appeal was put out for people to put up residents who had to evacuate we received several kind phone calls.

“There has been no panic or fuss and as far as the police activity is concerned, it is simply a case of better safe than sorry.”

A Cherry Gardens employee told the Post: “I think they’ve found another package. We don’t know any of the ins and outs of it at the moment. They have evacuated the street and now it’s just a waiting game. It’s absolute madness. At the moment the top of Wigan Lane is still blocked.”

Residents were first evacuated from their homes on Springfield Street and the surrounding area on Thursday evening.

Bomb disposal experts were called in to examine a number of “suspicious items” and dozens of residents were evacuated for more than two hours as a large cordon was put in place.

It was part of the police’s investigation into the Manchester Arena bombing and followed the arrest of a man on Upper Dicconson Street the day before.

Police officers have been based at the house on Springfield Street since Thursday.