2 security alerts in UK historic city

AP News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2011 8:33 PM
2 security alerts in UK historic city

British army bomb disposal experts were called into the historic cathedral city of Canterbury on Friday night to help investigate two incidents, including a fake bomb found on a railway line during rush hour, officials said.

The discovery of the suspicious device was followed by a fire inside a baby changing area at a Marks and Spencer department store, authorities said.

Assistant Chief Police Constable Andy Adams announced Friday night that the "suspicious package on the railway line has been checked by Army bomb disposal experts and is not -- as has been reported -- an explosive device. We are satisfied it is in fact a hoax package designed to appear like a device."

Transport police said all trains in the area were stopped until the emergency passed.

The fire at the department store, which was quickly extinguished, was discovered at 5:10 p.m. (1610 GMT) in a baby changing area on the second floor, police said. Marks and Spencer _ a fixture in Britain's city centers and suburban malls _ was evacuated without injuries.

Adams said the fire was "suspicious but it doesn't represent a threat."

No injuries were reported in the incidents, deemed "serious" by police and which caused major traffic jams and road closures. Police urged residents and visitors to avoid the city center, which is a popular tourist destination about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east of London in the county of Kent.