Stanhope Road suspicious device ‘was found in student’s room’ in Portsmouth university accommodation block

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A suspicious item blown up in a controlled explosion late last night was found inside a student’s room, The News understands.

Hundreds of University of Portsmouth students were evacuated from Catherine House, in Stanhope Road, when police and bomb disposal were called to the city centre site at 4.18pm yesterday.

The bomb squad in Portsmouth city centre yesterday

The bomb squad in Portsmouth city centre yesterday

Hampshire police has confirmed a controlled explosion was later carried out in Victoria Park.

A police car remains outside the building today as students head for morning lectures.

A first year accounting and finance student, who asked not to be named, said she returned to the block from Gunwharf Quays to find the building evacuated.

The 20-year-old said: ‘Police officers were talking to other students saying how there’s a bomb inside.

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

‘That’s what I heard, that there was a bomb and the bomb disposal team was inside.’

She added: ‘I was kind of scared, it’s my stuff up there and my accommodation. I didn’t really expect that.’

Another student who lives in the block, a 22-year-old studying biology, said police had refused to say what was going on.

‘The fire alarm went off and I looked outside to see if it was a fake and there were loads of people outside and everyone was rushing out.

‘The police were saying “make your way as far away from the area as possible”.

‘I saw the bomb disposal outside.

‘It was crazy.’

He said people were evacuated for more than five hours.

READ MORE: Police say man arrested after ‘suspicious object’ found in Stanhope Road student halls in Portsmouth is held under the Explosives Act