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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 19:04 GMT
Residents home after evacuation
House where substance was found
Tests are being carried out on the substance
Residents are back home after 120 houses were evacuated following the discovery of a suspicious substance.

Police said the search of the empty property in Long Nuke Road, Bartley Green, was not related to terrorism but was executed under the theft act.

A bomb disposal squad took the substance away for tests.

A 100m cordon and evacuation zone was in place around the property until Thursday afternoon as a precaution.

Police officers executed the warrant at 0800 GMT, the evacuation began at 1000 GMT, and householders were allowed back after the cordon was lifted at 1330 GMT.

The city council's emergency procedures allowed people to be moved to Shenley Court leisure centre.

Resident Heather Simpson told BBC WM she was glad to return home.

'Safety paramount'

"I've got a disabled son who's wheelchair bound and I'm a single parent, so it was quite tough to gather the kids together.

"So I managed it but then we had to go to the (leisure) centre."

Steve Grogan, the city's head of emergency planning, said the evacuation went according to plan.

"We supported the police by ensuring there was a location for them (residents) to be evactuated to.

"The people we evacuated were very good-humoured, very understanding that the actions were for their safety and well-being.

"That contributed to an operation that went very well."

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: "If we find a substance that cannot be identified, but could contain an explosive substance, then we automatically implement our emergency planning procedures in conjunction with our partner agencies in the interests of public safety.

"Public safety is paramount in such circumstances."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See how residents were given five minutes to evacuate
BBC Birmingham Local TV



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