Kent Police say cordons put in place after suspicious materials were found in a Ramsgate flat today (January 14) are likely to remain into the early hours.
Three streets in the town have been evacuated as a precaution.
Police were called at 3.26pm after the objects were found at a flat in Charlotte Court. A resident told The Isle of Thanet News the flat was being cleared when the objects were found. The former tenant is believed to be a military re-enactment enthusiast.
We were told to close the restaurant and evacuate the area. #Scary @IsleThanetNews @ThanetGazette @HeartKentNews @Kent_Online @bbcsoutheast pic.twitter.com/bFXos8Zueq
— Raushan Ara (@Raushan4Labour) January 14, 2019
Officers are at the scene and have evacuated Charlotte Court, Harbour Street, York Street and Queen Street.
Ramsgate Leisure Centre has been set up as an emergency venue for residents who have been evacuated from their homes.
Ramsgate Tandoori owner Raushan Ara described the incident as ‘scary’ adding: “We were told to close the restaurant and evacuate the area.”
A Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is at the scene assessing the items.
Inspector James Ross said: “We have closed the roads purely as a precaution and are asking people to avoid the area until we are satisfied that it is safe for them to return.”
Thanet council is assisting residents who are without accommodation. The leisure centre will close at 1am and it is understood most people have left to stay with family or friends. Those unable to do so are being offered hotel accommodation.
Ramsgate Leisure Centre has been set up by TDC as an emergency rest centre this evening for affected Ramsgate residents providing refreshments & support. The centre is due to close at 1am. Emergency support can still be provided after that time, please call 01843 577000
— Communications Team (@ThanetCouncil) January 14, 2019
An emergency phone number is in place for anyone who may still need assistance.