Residents allowed back into homes after Army bomb squad deployed to pit village

Households evacuated as an Army bomb squad investigated “a number of suspicious items” in a former pit village have been allowed to return to their homes.

Around 130 homes were cleared around an address in Grimethorpe, Barnsley, on Wednesday after police executed a warrant on Brierley Road, with officers saying it could be 72 hours before they were allowed back.

But, on Thursday, South Yorkshire Police said the cordon had been reduced to include only three houses and all other residents had been allowed back.

Two people arrested in connection with the incident remain in police custody.

Grimethorpe incident
Members of the armed services at the scene in Grimethorpe after more than 100 homes were evacuated (Danny Lawson/PA)

A spokesman said the houses had been evacuated “while emergency services continue their response after a number of suspicious items were found at an address on Brierley Road following a warrant this morning”.

The Army’s explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team, the Military Ordnance Disposal team, had been deployed to the scene, he said.

On Wednesday evening a large number of emergency services personnel and vehicles were still in the village, focused on a Royal Logistics Corps bomb disposal truck which had a robot vehicle positioned next to it.

People said the police activity was focused on a nearby disused church building and adjoining house, which has been in the process of being renovated for a number of years.

Chelsey Woollard, who lives just outside the cordon, said: “It was a beautiful village and this has come as a shock – not just to me but the whole village as well.”

She said: “It was a big shocker.

“There was a lot of ambulances, fire brigade, up and down the road all day.”

She added the village was full of rumours about what has been happening in the house.

A local church was opened up for residents with nowhere else to go and an emergency services command post was next to the centre in the church, about 100m outside the cordon.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley said: “Our heartfelt thanks go to the local residents of Grimethorpe for their continuing co-operation and patience as we carry out our work.

“We know this has caused disruption to people’s daily lives and appreciate your understanding that public safety must come first.”

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