Wrexham Maelor Hospital: Man arrested after 'hoax call' alert

Media caption,
"There's been a bomb scare - stay inside"

A man has been arrested after a police search for a "suspicious package" at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

North Wales Police said a 33-year-old man from Wrexham had been arrested following a "hoax call", but did not comment on the charges.

Eyewitnesses said dozens of officers arrived at the hospital site and some staff and patients were asked to leave some areas at 13:15 BST on Thursday.

Betsi Cadwaldr heath board said access is no longer restricted.

Det Insp Andrew Gibson said: "The 33-year-old is local to the area. It's not possible to provide further details at present - but there are no wider public safety concerns."

Ch Insp Mark Williams said: 'I would like to thank staff, patients and the public for their co-operation and patience following what appears to have been a hoax call to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

"Our priority throughout this afternoon's incident was to ensure people were kept safe."

Both ends of the road leading to the hospital were blocked by police and people were urged not to attend planned appointments.

The health board later tweeted that police had completed their search following reports of a suspicious package and apologised for the inconvenience caused.

Image caption,
The hospital, which has an A&E department, had a heavy police presence

Earlier, one nurse, who did not want to be named, said people were told to leave a building and were later asked to move further back in the car park.

BBC reporter Sarah Easedale, who was at the scene, said one woman, who was supposed to be having a C-section at 14:00, had been admitted inside on a stretcher.

Tonya Hinds, 26, from Caia Park, Wrexham, said she had been in the hospital with her family since 13:30, and had been unable to leave for several hours.

Image caption,
Both marked and unmarked police cars were outside the hospital

She said it was "stressful and worrying with two kids under five".

She was kept with her daughters and partner in the main outpatients department as police at the time were not letting anyone in or out.

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Eyewitness Stuart Lloyd, 44, said: "I arrived just after 13:30 at the Maelor just to find that police cars were blocking the entrance with flashing lights - unmarked cars and marked cars."

The 800-bed district general hospital was opened by Wales' only British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in 1934.

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