Bomb alert at Sussex station blamed on '˜school project' and '˜YouTube prank'

'˜Strong words of advice' were given to a family who sparked a bomb scare at a Sussex railway station after a '˜school project' was flagged up as a suspicious package.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 3:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 3:05 pm
Hove Railway Station has reopened (Credit: Google Maps)

Hove station was evacuated at 9.30am this morning (November 1) and British Transport Police (BTP) closed the station for an hour after the alarm was raised.

BTP said the item was later confirmed to be for a school project, although Sussex Newspapers has seen a Network Rail log which said the item was ‘for a prank to be filmed outside MI6 HQ on YouTube’.

A spokesperson for British Transport Police said: “Shortly after 9.30am today, officers were called to Hove station after a suspicious item was found on the station platform.

“BTP were quickly on scene and the item was assessed by officers.

“It transpires the item was made for a school project which inadvertently provoked a security alert.

“Strong words of advice have been given in order to prevent further such alerts.

“The station reopened shortly after 10.35am.”

A Network Rail log of the incident said a member of staff discovered a ‘white box with wires in it on platform 2’ and that just before 10,30am a woman spoke to a member of staff at Brighton station claiming the package belonged to her and it was ‘for a prank to be filmed outside MI6 HQ on YouTube’.

British Transport Police, however, said the item was for a school project.

No trains stopped at the station during the hour that it was sealed off by police.

A GTR spokesman said: “Hove station was closed from 9.30 this morning for about an hour following a report of a suspicious package. British Transport Police, who arrived very quickly, established that the item posed no threat and the station was reopened. We are nevertheless grateful to the member of staff who raised the alert. We encourage passengers whose journeys were delayed by 15 minutes or more to claim Delay Repay compensation via the Southern web site.”