Preston’s busiest shopping street was brought to a standstill by a suspicious bag left near to an armed forces recruitment office.
Traffic was halted and pedestrians told to keep their distance as police moved in to isolate the rucksack on the pavement next door to the RAF building which was targeted by the IRA back in 1991.
A passerby who took the above photograph in Fishergate at lunchtime on Monday said: “Everything was brought to a standstill for a good 20 minutes to half an hour as the police stopped anyone going near the bag.
“An officer went over to the bag and started to look through it. But it was found to be nothing serious and everything quickly got back to normal.”
A police spokesman said: “It looks like it was an innocently abandoned bag which didn’t contain anything other than a few bits of paper and an empty drinks bottle.”
The same RAF office came under attack in 1991 when a bomb left nearby had to be made safe using a controlled explosion. The IRA later claimed responsibility.