Rush hour traffic halted for security alert at the QEII bridge
A man who sparked a full-scale emergency at the Dartford Crossing is now being held at a secure unit after being detained under the Mental Health Act.
The 27-year-old, from Bournemouth in Dorset, was arrested after a suspicious cylindrical device was found on a coach at the Dartford Crossing yesterday.
He is now under the care of the health authority.
It comes after police were called at just after 4pm to the incident at the Dartford Crossing.
Suspicions had been raised after a man was seen running from a coach to rough area nearby.
The suspect package is dealt with at the scene. Picture by Albie Mills.
Distribution depot staff held the man, who was arrested a few minutes later.
When interviewed, it's alleged he made threats about a suspicious device on board the coach, which had just gone through the toll booths.
Police evacuated the coach and the area around it, which was extremely busy at the height of the Friday evening rush hour.
Inside the coach was a heavily sealed bag, with a cylindrical device with wires inside.
Bomb experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team used a robot to examine the package.
Cars caught on the bridge this afternoon. Picture: @dannyoreilly66
Queues building up on the carriageway opposite. Picture: @AnnieNeller
Police are said to be at a separate bomb scare at Ayliffe near Dover. Picture: DanMelon88
But as miles of queues built up at the crossing, with both sides shut until just before midnight, it's alleged there were further threats of a device on a coach at the A20 in Dover.
Police stopped a coach at 6pm on the A20 at Dover and it was evacuated - with the road closed.
Those on the coach were taken to a rest centre, but when nothing was found they were allowed to carry on and the A20 reopened at 10.45pm.
Those on the Dartford coach were also taken to a rest centre, but released in the early hours of today.
A rare empty row of toll booths. Picture by Albie Mills.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Price, said: "We were dealing with a very challenging situation, with two scenes in extremely busy areas.
"We had received threats of a very serious nature that required regional and national co-ordination and declared this as a critical incident" - Asst Chief Constable Rob Price
"Our main priority was to ensure the safety of the public, our officers and our partners at the scene.
"We had received threats of a very serious nature that required regional and national co-ordination and declared this as a critical incident.
"Obviously a lot of people were caught up in long delays but this could not be avoided as we had to ensure public safety and as soon as clearance was obtained the road was immediately opened."
The man arrested was earlier held on suspicion of making a bomb hoax.
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