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Ballymena Cambridge House school evacuated following bomb alert

By Nevin Farrell

Published 15/04/2016

The scene in Ballymena yesterday after the security alert
The scene in Ballymena yesterday after the security alert
The scene in Ballymena yesterday after the security alert

A school principal said she hopes her school will not be caught up in any more disruption after almost 1,000 pupils were sent home early following a lunchtime security alert.

Students were evacuated from Cambridge House Grammar School during the bomb alert yesterday.

Elma Lutton, the head of the Ballymena college, explained that students were on their break when a report came in of objects in a hedge on school grounds.

She said it was fortunate no children were in that area of the school at the time, but added that the alert caused huge disruption, including to some pupils doing an oral GCSE exam.

The alert saw bomb disposal robots deployed. It was the third alert of its kind in the general Cambridge Avenue area over the past number of weeks.

Mystery surrounds why the security alerts are happening, but Mrs Lutton does not believe the school is the target.

She said the drama began during lunchbreak.

"Following the discovery of items on the grounds of the school, the PSNI were contacted immediately," she said.

"The school was then evacuated as a precautionary measure on the advice of the PSNI.

"The safety of pupils at the school is of extreme importance and at no time was this compromised.

"My understanding is there was a hole in the hedge and it looks like somebody has pushed something in there.

"My priority was to ensure that the whole school was evacuated and they (police) had already placed the cordons around."

Police examined a suspect object discovered in the area and a number of items, including a BB gun, were removed for further examination.

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