UPDATE: 'Terrified' neighbours kept indoors during army base bomb scare in Stonecot Hill
Frightened neighbours were confined to their houses during a bomb scare at an army barracks.
Explosive experts descended on Stonecot Hill this morning to blow open the boot of a red Volvo convertible that had been left outside the Territorial Army base since Sunday.
Suspicions about the car grew and due to "the current climate" police decided to treat the car as a risk and set up an exclusion zone around it so they could investigate shortly before 9am.
Neighbours were told to remain in their homes and a long stretch of the road was cordoned off while explosive experts tried to get into the car.
Initial efforts to gain access to the car failed and neighbours reported hearing two loud bangs before police managed to open the vehicle's boot and establish there were no explosives inside.
Police officers guard the cordon
Inspector Ian Hicks said: "The car was regarded as a suspect vehicle as it had been left here for more than a day and it is outside a TA base which, in the current climate, made it somewhat suspicious.
"Ownership of the vehicle could not be confirmed and there were some other details that I can't go into which meant we decided to cordon off the area.
"We did our best to work with neighbours and get them to stay inside and we called the bomb squad.
"They tried to effect an entry to the car and the two bangs people heard were not a controlled explosion but I think some devices they use may have explosives in them.
"They got in and we were able to establish there was nothing suspicious."
The contents of the car
Once inside the car, police found a set of golf clubs, an empty Amazon Kindle box, a scarf and a bag of clothes.
Stonecot Hill woman Marly Dialla said: "We weren't allowed out. I tried to come out and police shouted at me to get back inside. It was quite frightening.
"I thought 'what if it explodes? We'll all be killed'. It is frightening that it had been there since Sunday and nothing had been done."
The deserted street during the scare
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "It was terrifying. I saw it on Sunday and thought it was strange that someone would just leave a car there.
"With it being the TA base you couldn't help but think of what happened to that soldier in Woolwich [Drummer Lee Rigby who was killed outside his army barracks]."
Comments are closed on this article.