Why was Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich evacuated?

Sailmakers was evacuated this morning. File picture: SU ANDERSON

Sailmakers was evacuated this morning. File picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

The Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich town centre was evacuated this morning, but it has emerged that there was not any incident which caused the brief closure.

Members of the public reported that the centre was evacuated at around 9.30am this morning, with everyone from the building being ushered out to the bus station and outside Crown Pools.

Tape was then put across the entrances to stop people going in.

However, centre bosses have confirmed it was not an incident but was one of its twice-yearly evacuation exercises.

The centre does weekly alarm tests, which it prefaces with a message to warn shoppers and staff that it was for test purposes only and people were not required to evacuate.

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But the centre is legally required to carry out two full evacuation exercises a year, with no prior warning given, in order to make sure its procedures are up to date.

People were allowed back inside shortly after the exercise was completed.

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