An historic hotel housing dozens of Afghan refugees and a Travelodge on the Scarborough seafront were evacuated over a bomb hoax a day after anti-migrant leaflets were posted through doors in the town.
North Yorkshire Police had earlier ordered those staying at the Grand Hotel and the nearby Travelodge Scarborough to vacate the buildings urgently and set up a large cordon in the surrounding area.
It has now emerged that the Grand Hotel, a Grade II listed building which opened in 1867 and was once the largest hotel in Europe, had housed 150 refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power.
Angry locals apparently posted anti-refugee leaflets through letterboxes in the seaside town a day before the hotel received a phone call ‘with what has now been proven to be a bomb hoax’.
Residents in the Fairfax area of the resort had leaflets shoved their doors at around 5am yesterday saying ‘No Afghan Migrants’.
The leaflets feature the picture of desperate refugees crammed into a US military plane taken during the evacuation of Kabul with slogans ‘Put British people first!’ and ‘Charity starts at home!’ in bold text.
In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said the cordon has now been lifted, adding: ‘At 10.15am this morning (Monday 4 October 2021) the hotel received a telephone call with what has now been proven to be a bomb hoax. Emergency services attended the area and evacuated the building and erected cordon as a precautionary measure.
Guests were evacuated from a number of hotels near Scarborough seafront amid fears a bomb threat has been made, according to witnesses from the scene
North Yorkshire Police had earlier ordered those staying at the Grand Hotel and the nearby Travelodge Scarborough to vacate the buildings urgently and set up a large cordon in the surrounding area
‘Specialist teams conducted thorough checks of the building and surrounding area and have found no evidence of any threat to public safety.
‘Access to the building has now been authorised, staff and guests have been allowed to return and the cordon has been removed.
‘The safety of everyone in the area and the emergency services who attended is our priority and we thank the staff, guests of the hotel and members of the public for their patience while we worked to establish the circumstances around the incident.’
A Travelodge spokesman told MailOnline: ‘As our hotel is located close to the Grand Hotel, we were one of the local businesses instructed by North Yorkshire Police to evacuate the building. Our key priority is to assist Yorkshire Police and to look after our customers.’
MailOnline has contacted Britannia Hotels, which owns the Grand Hotel Scarborough, for comment.
Photos from the scene showed a large emergency service presence in the area including dozens of police vehicles and ambulance crews.
It has now emerged that the Grand Hotel, a Grade II listed building which opened in 1867 and was once the largest hotel in Europe, had housed 150 refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power
In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said: ‘ We are pleased to say the incident at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough has been brought to a safe conclusion and the building and surrounding area have now reopened’
According to Yorkshire Live, staff at the hotel were told that the bomb squad were on their way to the site but the nature of the incident has not been confirmed by North Yorkshire Police.
Police began evacuating hotel guests and neighbouring residents shortly before 11am this morning but it is understood the incident is still ongoing.
One guest said: ‘All the roads are blocked off. We don’t know what’s happened but we were told if we didn’t get out now, we might be in our rooms all day.
‘They’re telling everyone to wait by the Royal hotel on the corner. Everybody had to get out; all we’ve been told is that it’s a police incident. They’ve blocked all access near the Grand.’
North Yorkshire Police earlier said: ‘Emergency services are currently in attendance at an ongoing incident at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough.
‘The hotel and surrounding buildings have been evacuated as a precautionary measure and the area surrounding the hotel, including St Nicholas Cliff and the Spa Bridge has been cordoned off to allow emergency service to attend.
‘Members of the public are advised to avoid the area.’
A large emergency response was on scene and a huge cordon was put in place by officers
Barricades were also set up to block access to Scarborough seafront, which is directly underneath the towering Grand Hotel.
According to those who had been directed away by officials, there had been a bomb scare.
One holidaymaker stormed: ‘We cannot even drive down to the beach.
‘We have been told just to walk around and enjoy the day. That is easier said than done when all your stuff is back in the room and you only have the clothes you were stood up in when the alarms went off.’
Another visitor said: ‘This is a great start to the staycation. All we can do is walk about in the cold and hope nothing bad happens.
‘It is not as if you can go anywhere. There are police cars and emergency vehicles and road blocks everywhere you look.’
Source: Daily Mail UK