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A suspected radioactive letter caused Barkingside Magistrates’ Court to be evacuated this morning.

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Specialist chemical police and fire crews were called at 11am to the court in Cranbrook Road, Barkingside after a suspect package was found.

Court officials, who were in the room where the package was opened, were led away from the scene wrapped in special blankets.

Firefighter watch manager Steve Bonsor said: “We checked the scene for radiation and evacuated the building.

“Crews were sent in wearing gas tight suits to see if it there was radiation on the letter or inside the building.

“We searched the package and it was all clear.”

At the scene were two fire engines, two fire and rapid responce vehicles and a command unit.

Police dogs were also brought in to search the building.

Hazard tape was in place around the building and people were allowed back into the court after about an hour.

The area is being treated as a crime scene.

Were you at Barkingside Magistrates Court today? Tell us what you saw by tweeting us @ilfordrecorder, email newsdesk@ilfordrecorder.co.uk or call 020 8477 3826.

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