15 April 2005


Centre is evacuated in bomb alert

Army bomb experts have been called to the scene

About 350 people have been moved out of a civic centre in County Antrim because of a security alert.

The Lagan Valley Island Civic Centre in Lisburn has been evacuated while an Army bomb disposal team examines a suspect vehicle.

Chief superintendent Ken Henning said an anonymous call was received at 2010 BST, saying a vehicle with a bomb on board was at the back of the centre.

The caller said the bomb was due to explode in 25 minutes.

Mr Henning said police officers subsequently observed a package in the back of a white car.

"We had a number of events in the civic centre tonight and all of those people had to be evacuated out into the cold, which is an absolute disgrace," he said.

"This whole place has been completely disrupted."

The alert happened during a performance of Carousel by a local theatre group.

One of those moved from the building, Patricia Carleton, said it was "most unfortunate".

"My two grand-daughters are involved in the show," she said.

"They just had to leave all their clothes, as had all the cast."

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