M6 closure caused by fake cigarette
A PASSENGER using an electronic cigarette which gives off a vapour caused armed police to swoop on a coach in a terror alert that closed a motorway for more than four hours.
• Passenger on Megabus alerted emergency services after spotting vapour escaping from a bag
• Incident closed M6 toll road for four hours
Armed officers, troops, firefighters and bomb disposal experts all went to the scene on the M6 toll road near Lichfield after a passenger reported seeing vapour coming from a man’s bag.
A decontamination unit was set up and passengers were searched and held in a makeshift pen on the carriageway, but police found no crime had been committed. The man was simply using an electronic cigarette, rather than the real thing, on the six-hour journey from Preston to London.
With the Olympic Games, considered an attractive target for potential terrorists, starting later this month, police have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Officers responded “swiftly and proportionately” to “a genuine report from a member of the public”, a Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said.
“The information received concerned a report of vapour escaping from a bag which on investigation turned out to be a health improvement aid for smokers.”
Police later confirmed the device was an electronic cigarette which gives off a visible vapour.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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