De­signer Out­let fire drill sparks bomb fears

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

The Ash­ford De­signer Out­let had a rou­tine drill on Wed­nes­day morn­ing spark­ing ‘bomb scare’ ru­mours among shop­pers.

The McArthurGlen stores in Kim­ber­ley Way were no­ti­fied of what would hap­pen on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to a shop worker, who did not want to be named.

But the drill was a com­plete sur­prise to cus­tomers, who were leisurely brows­ing the shops when they were told to leave the premises.

The prac­tice run went ahead at 10am to give ev­ery­one a chance to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with where they should meet in the event of an emer­gency.

It is un­der­stood that peo­ple who had parked up in­side the venue were asked not to get out of their cars.

The worker said: “This was only a test. Peo­ple were over there for 10 min­utes.

“If cus­tomers were in the store they would also have to fol­low staff, who went back to work af­ter­wards.”

When the Ex­press re­ceived a tip-off about the drill from a res­i­dent, the ini­tial con­cern was that peo­ple were be­ing evac­u­ated due to a po­ten­tial bomb at the re­tail cen­tre.

But po­lice con­firmed that they had not been called and that the in­ci­dent was dealt with by in­ter­nal se­cu­rity.

De­signer Out­let cus­tomers were caught off-guard by the safety test

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