Residents' shock as bomb disposal team called to a 'quiet' South Shields street following a man's death
Officers discovered a number of items, which could have been used to make an improvised explosive device, while attending an address in The Lonnen on Wednesday, February 3.
Northumbria Police were originally called to the house after concerns were raised for the welfare of a 65-year-old man who has since died in hospital.
Dave Gray, who lives on the street, described to the Gazette what he had seen during the police operation.
He said: “To be honest, I thought it was something to do with drugs as I saw police wearing white suits and they were carrying items out of the house in plastic bags.
"There was a few police cars and vans. It was a bit of a surprise as it is a quiet street – everyone just keeps to themselves, you hardly see anyone.”
Another resident, who wished not to be named, commented on the bomb disposal team arriving at the scene.
He said: “I saw them taking the guy out the house in a wheelchair and into an ambulance, then the police cars and vans left.
"Next thing I knew, there was a bomb squad in the street and they went into the house.
"I think they must have only been in the house about five minutes, they were literally in and out.”
Neighbour Gareth Morton-Brythe said that it was worrying to see the level of police presence that was in the street.
He commented: “It’s really quiet around here, there has been a little bit of trouble before but nothing on this level.
"It was worrying that no one was moved away while they were checking it over to make sure that it was safe, there are quite a few pensioners around here.”
One lady who has lived on the street for almost two decades revealed that she was surprised by the sight of emergency services.
She said: “We have been wondering all the time about what was actually happening, I was a bit surprised by it all.
"My husband and I have lived here for 19 years, nothing really ever happens around here.”
Northumbria Police have confirmed that officers and bomb disposal experts have removed the items and there is no danger to the public.
A force spokesperson said: “On Wednesday (February 3) we attended an address on The Lonnen, South Shields following a report of concern for the welfare of a male.
“A 65-year-old man was subsequently taken to hospital and has since sadly passed away. His next of kin have been notified and there is not believed to have been any third party involvement.
“While at the address in question, officers also found a number of suspicious items that could have potentially been used to make an improvised explosive device.
“Police supported by bomb disposal experts have since safely removed the items. There is no wider threat to the public.”