Mystery package on bus causes scare at simcha

PANIC broke out on Wednesday evening after a suspicious package was left on a bus outside the Jewish Telegraph's Manchester office.

And it nearly caused the cancellation of a simcha due to take place with 170 people at the Holy Law Synagogue across the road.

Wendy Radnan was informed at 6pm of the possible cancellation of sheva brochot for her son Zack and his wife Shaina when her husband Martin went on an errand - and saw that Bury Old Road had been cordoned off by police.

Mrs Radnan told the JT: "I was worried sick that I would have to cancel the simcha.

"When my husband called me to say that the road was blocked off, my stress levels went through the roof. Selena Myers, who works at the JT, was speaking to the police on my behalf so it was good to have someone on the scene to keep me informed.

"I even had a friend calling other venues to see what was available."

Mrs Radnan added that they had guests due from Israel, Sheffield, Liverpool and Glasgow.

She said: "As it was happening, the phone did not stop ringing with people telling me what was going on.

"I even called the caterer to find out what to do."

The cordon was lifted around 7.30pm.

The police are searching for the owner of a suspicious bag left on the bus.

Bomb disposal officers and a sniffer dog boarded the 135 First Manchester service towards Bury after the driver reported a mysterious package that was left behind.

The driver said: "I saw the package and went to see what was in it.

"There was a can of deodorant, a trainer with a sock and two lighters - I didn't think it looked right so I raised the alarm."

Passengers were evacuated and roads around the area were sealed off.

And another incident took place on nearby Bury New Road caused major traffic disruptions coming in and out of the city.

Police later confirmed that there was nothing "sinister" about the package but that they were searching for a male owner.

Chief Inspector Mark Dexter said: "Officers from the Specialist Operations Team, supported by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue staff, worked quickly to examine the bag and concluded that the contents were not suspicious.

"We are conscious that people will be concerned following the events in London.

"There is nothing to indicate that this incident was anything sinister."

Meanwhile, police have urged communities to join together and support each other following Wednesday's terrorist attacks at Westminster.

GMP's Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "It is incredibly important at times like this that communities support one another.

"If anyone has any concerns or sees anything suspicious, they should report it immediately."

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