Manchester suspicious package: Controlled explosion carried out

Police cordon around New York Street
Image caption Police put up a cordon around New York Street while the explosion was carried out

Bomb disposal experts have carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious package in the centre of Manchester.

Police were called to New York Street at about 07:35 GMT after receiving reports of a package left near the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel.

An explosive ordnance disposal unit carried out the explosion on the package at about 10:15 GMT.

Police said an examination of the package had found there was no explosive device inside.

The contents included a laptop and cables.

The area around the package was cordoned off while the explosion was carried out, affecting bus and tram services into Piccadilly Gardens.

However, police said it had since been "closed down", with only a small area around the package remaining cordoned off.

Supt Neil Bhole said the package had "caused significant disruption this morning but we have to put the safety of the public ahead of inconvenience and disruption and we make no apology for the steps taken".

"We have dealt with this as quickly as possible without jeopardising public safety and everything should now be returning to normal," he said.

He added his officers could not "speculate on the motive for the bag being left where it was, but will now be carrying out an investigation to try and trace the individual involved".

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