A 27-year-old man has been arrested by Counter Terrorism police in Leeds following reports of a suspicious package outside St James’s Hospital. The public were told to avoid the Glendow Wing as army bomb disposal experts appeared on the scene.
The ward houses the majority of the Leeds hospital’s maternity services, such as the delivery suite. The Leeds teaching hospital trust overseeing the hospital have declared a critical incident in order to keep staff and patients safe while the investigation is ongoing.
The trust said: “Emergency services are currently dealing with a suspicious package incident outside the Gledhow wing at St James’s hospital. A cordon has been put in place as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety and we have been working with the police to evacuate some ward areas to keep our patients and staff safe.
“Patients are being asked to attend hospital as normal for appointments, unless they are contacted otherwise. Visiting for patients who are currently in Gledhow wing and Lincoln wing at St James’s hospital is suspended until we have more information. Accident and emergency at St James’s is still open.”
West Yorkshire Police said: "Emergency services were called to a potentially suspicious package outside the Gledhow Wing of St James’s Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds earlier this morning. A cordon has been put in place as a precautionary measure for public safety and army specialists are in attendance to make an assessment in line with normal procedures.
"People are asked to avoid the entrance to the Gledhow Wing at this time while the cordon remains in place. As a safety precaution, some people have been evacuated from the immediate vicinity.
"Emergency department at St James’s remains open, and patients are asked to attend outpatient appointments as normal unless contacted otherwise."
A spokesperson for the Counter Terrorism Policing North East have confirmed a 27-year-old man from Leeds has been arrested, but no further details have been published. St James’s Hospital is located around one mile from Leeds city centre.