South Downs bomb alert

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STUDENTS at South Downs College in Purbrook had more excitement than most on A-Level results day as a suspicious device was found by the college gates.

Workmen digging up the pavement outside the college spotted a canister in a hole in the ground and called the police, who in turn alerted the bomb disposal team at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The call was made shortly before 2.15pm today, and students were told not to drive out of the college gates.

However, the canister was found to be harmless and the students were allowed out around 90 minutes later.

College spokesman Amanda Percy said: ‘Luckily for us it happened after the kids had collected their results.’

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary added: ‘It wasn’t inside the college grounds, but on the road outside.

‘There was some construction work going on and a canister was spotted. As a precaution the police and the bomb disposal team were called.

‘The item was not a threat and any disruption caused is now at an end.’