Suspicious device in Belfast declared ‘elaborate hoax’

Residents return to homes early Tuesday morning after controlled explosion on Monday

A general, undated view of the Springfield Road in Belfast. File photograph: Google Street View

A general, undated view of the Springfield Road in Belfast. File photograph: Google Street View

 

A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspicious object discovered in north Belfast on Monday following what was later described as an “elaborate hoax”.

The Springfield Road and Lanark Way were closed for a time but have reopened.

PSNI Inspector Natalie McNally said: “A controlled explosion was carried out by ATO [Army Technical Officers] on a suspicious object discovered in the area last night.

“It was declared an elaborate hoax. A number of homes and businesses had to be evacuated, but all residents and keyholders were allowed to return around 12.30am this morning.

“I know this was a disruptive evening for the whole community and I would thank everyone for their patience while we worked to make the area safe.”

She appealed to anyone who had information about the incident to get in touch with the PSNI.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers.