Man detained under mental health act after blast

Police cordon in Lenton
A large cordon was put in place and residents were evacuated in Lenton [BBC]

A man has been detained under the Mental Health Act after two controlled explosions were carried out in a city suburb.

Emergency services went to Allington Avenue, in the Lenton area of Nottingham, at about 14:00 BST on Friday, and a large cordon was set up.

Nottinghamshire Police said two suspicious packages had been found - one in Maxwell Court and another in Allington Avenue, which were dealt with by bomb disposal experts.

Residents in the area were evacuated before they were able to return home on Saturday.

Cordon and emergency services in Lenton
It was confirmed the packages posed no risk to the public [BBC]

Two blasts were heard in the city on Friday, with police saying the incident had been "safely resolved" on Saturday.

The cordon was fully lifted on Saturday morning, police confirmed.

A spokesperson added: "Nothing untoward was found and the incident was deemed safe shortly after 05:00."

Affected people, many of whom are students, were provided with temporary accommodation by the city’s universities, while families were taken in by relatives and friends.

Galway Road
On Saturday morning, the remnants of a cordon in Galway Road could be seen [BBC]

While The Walton Hotel, in North Road, had also opened its doors for people to stay in the short-term, officers said.

Supt Jon Foy said: “Once again we’d like to thank all those who took in friends and neighbours who were displaced during this incident.

"We’d also like to thank residents for their patience and understanding while work was carried out to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.”

Police cordon in Lenton
Police were manning the cordons on streets in the area [BBC]
Alley in Park Road
The cordon in Lenton was fully lifted on Saturday morning [BBC]

Kate Loewenthal, the chairwoman of the residents' association in Lenton, said at least 100 people went to The Walton Hotel on Friday night.

She added: "It was bizarre. [Police officers] started to evacuate the streets.

"They didn't seem to know where people should go. People left the hotel at about 01:30."

Ms Loewenthal, said there was "a huge amount of concern" from local residents looking to her and the authorities for help.

"There's not nearly as many people here as there would have been if it had been a month ago, because lots of the students have gone, but even so there's still a lot of residents living around here," she said.

"I was concerned myself - I've lived here all my life, my dad was a doctor in the 50s and 60s around here, and some of his elderly patients are still alive and living on the drives.

"Some of them are in their 90s, and there's one guy who's 102, and you're thinking 'if they are in the house they're not going to get to the door if the police are knocking on them', so I was trying to find out addresses and contact details for any of the really vulnerable residents."

Ms Loewenthal said the community was "very grateful" to the hotel staff who provided them with food and drinks.

"They were absolute heroes," she said.

"They were looking after people and making them sandwiches, and all for free - they did a fantastic job."

Dana Vinklere Walton Hotel
Dana Vinklere said the Walton Hotel was a busy point for evacuated residents [BBC]

Dana Vinklere is a customer relations manager at The Walton, which provided shelter for evacuated residents.

The 23-year-old said they offered to help after learning from police that residents were being evacuated, and at one point nearly 200 people were being fed and receiving shelter.

"With all the rush we didn't even have time to answer the phones," she said.

"The restaurant was full, the terrace, all the rooms were full, there were elderly [people], there were kids sleeping on sofas.

"We had all ages of people - we had a little baby and a mum, there was a mum with five kids, all kinds of stuff.

"We didn't know what was happening, we started offering everyone free drinks... on the bar in the restaurant we set up a station with coffee, water, tea, squash for kids.

"It got even later, so everyone started being hungry, [so] we made sandwiches, we made chips for them, [we said] just have it because we understand it's a very stressful situation."

Students Daisy McTear-Smith, 20, and 21-year-old Kelsey-Jane Donnachie,
Students Daisy McTear-Smith (left) and Kelsey-Jane Donnachie were helped by the University of Nottingham [BBC]

Students Daisy McTear-Smith, 20, and 21-year-old Kelsey-Jane Donnachie, who live in Allington Avenue, said the University of Nottingham helped them out with accommodation when they called for support.

"Our housemates got evacuated out - the police knocked on our door and said 'you need to get out'," said Ms Donnachie.

"We couldn't get back in, and we were kind of in limbo for a bit, and then the uni luckily provided accommodation.

"We rang them and were like 'we have nowhere to go', so they just put us up in a hotel."

Ms McTear-Smith said it felt "a little bit weird" coming back to the quiet street on Saturday morning, but said the situation was "nothing too worrying".

"Hopefully it'll be alright from now," she added.

Nicholas Landon
Nicholas Landon had to take the long way home around the cordon on Friday [BBC]

Nicholas Landon, 24, lives in the Park Estate, and was coming through towards Park Road when he encountered the cordon

"There were police vans and no-one knew what was going on, so I had to find another way round," he said.

"Later on, going past Derby Road, all of the streets were cordoned off, there were police cars to make sure nobody went down any of these roads.

"Now that the uni term has ended and most of the undergrads have gone home it's a pretty quiet area, there's [normally] nothing much going on."

Rescued dog
Police helped to rescue a dog stuck in the cordoned area on Friday [BBC]

Dinah Jennings said she and a friend arrived in Nottingham at about 15:15, and after going out to get shopping they could not get back into the area.

After some time, they managed to get police to help retrieve a dog from the property.

"It's brilliant to have him back, and the police officers have been amazing - they managed to get my friend's medication as well," she said.

"It's been exhilarating, it's been scary, it's been tiring, the police and the fire [service] have done a sterling job at making sure everybody's safe [and] everything's controlled, but we're happy to have the dog back."

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