Greater Manchester Police has assured the public that there is currently “no threat” following the evacuation of the Arndale centre yesterday evening.
The city centre shopping mall was evacuated due to a “suspicious white powder”.
A member of staff reported the discovery of the powder in an envelope within the centre, and shortly after, police, firefighters and paramedics went to the scene and people were urged to stay away from the city centre following the alert at 5:15pm, with a number of nearby roads temporarily closed.
GMP’s City Centre policing team took to Twitter shortly after the alert to issue an update, reading: “We’re responding to reports of a suspicious white powder discovered by a staff member at the Arndale Centre.
“A partial evacuation of the Centre has taken place while an initial assessment by the fire service takes place.
“Please stay away from the area at this time.”
Greater Manchester Police then offered some follow-up assurance shortly after: “There is not believed to be a wider threat to the public at this time but people are advised to stay away from the cordoned area while emergency services respond.”
The incident came to an end two hours later when the powder was examined by fire service hazardous materials experts and found to be “non-toxic”.
Confirming the chain of events in a later statement released to social media, a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police were called at around 5.15pm on Thursday 27 May to a report of an unknown suspicious powder found inside an envelope in the Arndale Centre by a member of staff,”
“Emergency services responded and the centre was partially evacuated as a precaution. Enquires have since established the powder is non-toxic and that there is no threat to the public.
“All cordons and road closures are being lifted.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also added: “Just after 5pm on Thursday 27 May, fire crews were called to reports of a suspicious white powder discovered at the Arndale Centre, Manchester.
“Two fire engines from Manchester Central and Salford fire stations arrived quickly at the scene [and] a GMFRS hazardous materials and environmental protection officer conducted an assessment before handing over to colleagues from Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
“GMFRS crews were in attendance for around two hours.”
The evacuation of the Arndale centre is the second almost identical incident in the city centre in four days after a “suspicious powder” was also reported to have been delivered in an envelope to a Piccadilly office block on Monday.
Richard Keys and Andy Gray to give first UK TV interview since sexism scandal
Former Sky Sports presenting duo Richard Keys and Andy Gray are set to give their first UK interview since they were sacked for a number of sexist remarks back in 2011.
Once regular mainstays on the Premier League‘s long-term broadcasting partner, Keys and Gray haven’t made any British media appearances since their high-profile scandal which highlighted the prevailing sexism in football at the time and, sadly, is still underlying throughout large sections of sport today.
Now, after being approached by fellow controversial TV personality Piers Morgan, the punditry pair will be discussing the incident on national television for the first time in more than a decade, as well as reflecting on their careers since then.
Keys and Gray have been consigned to working on the Qatari network beIN SPORTS since 2013 after they went from being among the most well-known sports commentators to two of the most vilified public figures in the early 2010s.
For anyone still unaware even all the years later, the two Sky employees were caught making a number of sexist comments towards then lineswoman, Sian Ellis-Massey, in a leaked audio recording during which Keys remarked: “someone better go down there and explain the offside rule to her”.
Responding to the jibe, Gray responded by saying “Can you believe that, a female linesman… women don’t know the offside rule”, before his partner in crime responded, “the game’s gone mad”.
Ellis-Massey went on to become the UK’s first female referee and remains one of the leading officials in English football, having also adjudicated games in the Europa League and Women’s World Cup.
To make matter worse, a clip of Keys making similarly inappropriate and offensive remarks while having a conversation with Jamie Redknapp in the Sky Sports studio was also unearthed shortly after, as the lead anchor made a series of crass jokes about sex with the footballer’s former girlfriend.
Speaking in a now infamous BT interview shortly after, Keys insisted that his behaviour was “just banter” and seemed to offer little genuine remorse following the outburst.
Gray has also had little to say about his “unacceptable comments” in the years following, so it’s fair to say a fair few people will be tuning in to watch how the two approach this sit-down.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys’ Piers Morgan Uncensored interview airs at 8pm on TalkTV on Monday, 28 November.
Featured Image — beIN SPORTS/Piers Morgan (via Twitter)
RuPaul star Alyssa Edwards announces 2023 UK tour with Manchester date
RuPaul and Dancing Queen star Alyssa Edwards is coming to Manchester next year with her newly announced UK tour.
Edward’s critcally-acclaimed smash-hit show, Becoming Alyssa, The Life Story Of A Traveling Queen, is making it’s way over from America to the UK in May of 2023.
Becoming Alyssa is an epic, must-see, tell-all and dance-all story about her life growing up, her extraordinary drag career and incredible journey to finding love.
Alyssa – real name Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson – is an American entertainer, choreographer and television personality, best-know for appearances on appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, America’s Got Talent and, of course, his own highly-pooular Netlfix series, Dancing Queen.
Becoming one of the most beloved characters to every grace the Drag Race back in 2012, Edwards following has continued to grow ever since, enjoying a sold-out run at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End back in 2021, before embarking on a massive US tour spanning 31 different cities.
His previous tour, Entitled the Life, Love and Lashes, was a self-proclaimed “one-diva show” that pulled back the curtain to reveal some of Alyssa’s most intimate secrets and this latest iteration promises to go even further.
Having performed to droves of fans across Europe, Asia, as well as North, Central and South America, not to mention teaching dance classes back in his hometown of Mesquite, Texas at his award-winning dance studio, Beyond Belief Dance Company, you can expect Johnson’s show to non-stop action.
Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, 2 December. You can buy them HERE.