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29 Nov, 2014 12:20

A1 road in UK’s north shut down after ‘explosion’

A1 road in UK’s north shut down after ‘explosion’

The A1 has been closed near Catterick, North Yorkshire, due to reports of an explosion. Police have given no details of any possible injuries and it’s not clear whether the nearby army barracks were affected by the blast.

The first announcement of the explosion came at 3:00 GMT, with roads being shut down over a 10-kilometer stretch and diversions set up, police said. The Catterick village was “heavily congested” and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

The A1 runs near the Army's Marne Barracks, the forces’ largest training base in the UK. Around 13,000 personnel and their families live there.

However, it’s not clear if the barracks were anywhere close to the blast – no comments on that came either from police or army forces. No evacuations have been reported.

"At the moment it's only a heard [sic] explosion," a spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police stressed.

The road closure was set to last until 3pm GMT as the investigation continued. However, the anticipated opening time was not met.

#A1 at #Catterick remains closed. Your safety is our priority. We will not take any chances with it. Thanks for your patience.

— NorthYorkshirePolice (@NYorksPolice) November 29, 2014

“The search remains focused on the area outside of the barracks and the area adjacent to the A1, although at this stage, it cannot be ruled out that it has occurred within the boundary of the barracks,” said a statement from North Yorkshire Police.

“The safety of members of the public, including passing motorists, is our prime concern and therefore all security precautions must be taken to protect members of the public until we find out exactly what has occurred.”