TWO Russian students have been arrested after a controlled explosion was carried out on “potentially suspicious items” found at a North-East university.
The teenage students were today (June 11) being questioned over the incident which led to the evacuation of staff and students from a building on Newcastle University’s city centre campus.
Northumbria Police sealed off the Into Building, opposite the busy Haymarket bus station, at 5pm on Tuesday in response to an earlier expression of concern from the university.
A bomb disposal team was called in and a specialist robot was seen entering the building.
A controlled explosion was later carried out as a precaution by the explosive ordnance disposal unit on Newcastle Town Moor shortly after midnight.
One 18-year-old was arrested in London on Tuesday and a second 18-year-old was detained in Newcastle earlier today (June 11).
Northumbria Police confirmed both men are Russian students studying at Newcastle University and they remain in custody.
Speaking earlier, Chief Superintendent Laura Young said: "Police have been searching a Newcastle University building and the building has been evacuated as a precaution so that items can be recovered and examined.
"Residents around Newcastle Town Moor may have heard a slight bang and I would like to reassure them this is in connection with the incident at the university and was planned."
She added: “We are working closely with Newcastle University to reassure students and staff. There is currently no cause for concerns for students and the wider community”.
The building, used by many of the university’s international students, re-opened this morning.
Dr John Hogan, Registrar at Newcastle University, said: "We'd like to reassure staff and current and prospective students that our main campus is open as usual today.
"We would reiterate that our campus is very safe.
"We have excellent security arrangements in place at the university and that allowed us to deal with the issue very quickly.
"As always, our student well-being service is on hand to provide students with any help and advice they may need.
"We continue to work closely with Northumbria Police."