Three packages sent to Heathrow,
Areas of the three main transport hubs were sealed off today after suspicious packages were sent to each in actions anti-terror police believed are linked.
Pictures shared online show the crude devices packed in envelopes with heart-shaped Irish stamps, reading simply ‘Heathrow’ and ‘London Waterloo’.
Part of the bag sent to the offices of Heathrow Airport was burnt away when it went off, causing a small fire which saw the building evacuated.
In a statement released this afternoon, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘The packages – all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags – have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices.
‘These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.’
Police say explosive devices capable to starting a small fire were sent to Heathrow, London City Airport and Waterloo railway station police have confirmed
Pictures shared online show the crude devices packed in envelopes reading simply ‘Heathrow’ and ‘London Waterloo’
The police cordon at Waterloo Station where the suspicious package was found this afternoon
Security alert: Two police vehicles and several officers at the scene at London Waterloo station today after one of the explosives was found at the country’s busiest rail terminal
The first package went off at the offices of Heathrow Airport bosses in a building called The Compass Centre, to the north of the runway, shortly before 10am today.
Where were the three explosive packages sent?
The three packages sent to London transport hubs in what police believe is a ‘linked’ series of events all arrived at administrative centres.
As a result there was little impact on rail or air passengers as flights continued to take off from City and Heathrow and South Western Railway services ran as normal from Waterloo.
At Heathrow, the package arrived at The Compass Centre, an office building on the perimeter of the airport site.
At City Airport, police responded to reports of the suspicious package at City Aviation House, another administrative building.
And at Waterloo, the UK’s busiest station, the package was received in a post room.
Nobody was hurt in the small fire which ensued but the building was evacuated and anti-terror experts took over and made the device safe.
Shortly after 11.30am, a similar device was found in the post room at Waterloo Station. This package was not opened and police experts have made it safe.
The third package was received around midday at City Aviation House in the Royal Docks. Again staff were evacuated and the package was not opened before bomb squad experts took over.
All the packages were A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags and appeared capable of igniting a small fire when opened, police said.
They were marked with a ‘love stamp’ issued by the Republic of Ireland in 2018, showing a decorative red heart and the words ‘Love’ and ‘Eire’.
The possible link to Ireland comes just weeks before a ‘hard border’ between the Republic and Northern Ireland could come into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
British Transport Police officers had to rush away from a Security Expo at the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington when they received the alert, Sky News reported.
Forensics experts were seen at Waterloo this afternoon, where a suspicious package was sent
Three police officers guard a cordon outside Waterloo station – the busiest railway hub in the country – after they received reports of suspicious packages
Security personnel stand guard at the Cab Road entrance to Waterloo station this afternoon, where police said a cordon was in place but railway services were continuing to operate
Scotland Yard said officers are treating the incidents as linked and are keeping an open mind regarding motives.
No one has been injured in the three incidents, police said. No arrests have been made.
Officers received a report of a suspicious package at The Compass Centre, a building near Heathrow Airport boundary, shortly before 10am.
A statement from Scotland Yard said: ‘The package was opened by staff at the building, causing the device to initiate. This resulted in part of the package burning.’
The building was evacuated as a precaution and specialist officers attended the scene to make the device safe.
Police said the building remains closed as enquiries.
A diagram showing where and when the three explosive devices were received, at three of London’s major transport hubs
The British Transport Police said: ‘Teams from British Transport Police are at Waterloo station (pictured) after a suspicion item was discovered’
A police officer stands in front of a van and a line of tape outside Waterloo station today
Specialist officers guarding the cordon at Waterloo, where services were operating as normal this afternoon
A Heathrow spokesman earlier said that flights and passengers were not affected by the incident.
British Transport Police were called to reports of a suspicious package in the post room at Waterloo station at 11.40am.
The package was not opened and specialist officers again made the device safe.
Police were also called to a report of a suspicious package at Aviation House at London City Airport shortly after midday.
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said: ‘Earlier today, police responded to reports of an incident in the Compass Centre.
‘Police response teams and the emergency services attended quickly, enabling colleagues to evacuate safely without injury.
Security staff put up a sign on Tuesday afternoon saying that one of the exits to Waterloo station was closed amid the security alert
A police car at the scene at Compass Centre, Heathrow Airport as police deal with a suspicious package on Tuesday
Police were at the offices of Heathow Airport in a building called the Compass Centre today
The Heathrow spokesman added: ‘Heathrow Airport remains operational, flights are not impacted and passengers are able to travel as normal.
‘The police are treating this as a criminal act and we will be assisting with this investigation.’
The three sites are major transportation hubs and deal with tens of thousands of passengers every day. They are open for passengers as normal.
Regarding the London City Airport incident, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘At approximately 12.10 today, Tuesday, 5 March, police were called to a report of a suspicious package at London City Airport Aviation House, Royal Docks.
‘Specialist officers are at the scene. The building has been evacuated as a precaution. Enquiries are ongoing.’
British Transport Police attended London City Airport, which is seen here in an undated photo
In Waterloo station Exit Three, a taxi rank on Station Approach and the bike storage areas have been closed as a precaution.
The British Transport Police said: ‘Specialist teams from British Transport Police are at Waterloo station after a suspicious item was discovered. The station is open and train services are running. A small cordon is in place.
‘We’re working with the Metropolitan police and should have more information shortly.’
Earlier today, the Met confirmed it had dealt with a suspicious package at a building near the boundary of Heathrow Airport.
A spokesman said: ‘At approximately 9.55am police received a report of a suspicious package at The Compass Centre, Nelson Road, Hounslow.
‘The building was evacuated as a precaution. Specialist officers attended and the package was made safe.’