Stratford's Westfield shopping centre evacuated over reports of 'suspicious package'

Shops at the complex were closed for two hours

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The Independent Online

Thousands of shoppers and members of staff were evacuated from a London shopping centre near London’s Olympic Park today during a security alert.

Police were sent to the Westfield Shopping centre in Stratford in response to reports of a suspect package.

All shops in the precinct were closed, and the building was cleared of shoppers and staff for over two hours while the emergency services worked behind fire screens, the Metro reported.

A Met spokesman said: “Police were called at 12.10 to reports and officers remain on the scene. The shopping centre was fully evacuated at 13.45.”

The force later tweeted that the situation had been “stood down” and thanked those involved for their co-operation. Tfl also posted a message on the social media website confirming that Westfield Avenue had re-opened.

A section of the shopping complex near Marks and Spencer was cordoned off by police, according to witnesses on the scene, the Evening Standard reported.

One bystander tweeted: “Westfield Stratford evacuated until further notice... Unknown hidden mystery device found.”

Westfield said shops had since reopened.