1. ITV Report

Hampshire Police - NOT a terrorist incident- but flammable material was thrown from bridge

Hampshire Police say yesterday's incident which closed the M3 for 11 hours was NOT a terrorist incident.

But they have confirmed they were called to the motorway, between Junctions 9 and 11, at 3.40am on Saturday, following reports hazardous material had been spotted on the carriageway.

The force said it was only right that a full investigation was carried out, though they recognised the closure caused significant disruption and inconvenience for motorists:

We would like to reassure you that public safety was our top priority as we investigated matters further.

Early assessments indicate that this was a flammable material, not explosive material, which had been thrown from the motorway bridge which leads to St Catherine’s Hill. Nobody was hurt, and there is no wider risk to public safety as a result.

Assessments to determine exactly what the material is are still on-going at this time.

– Hampshire Police statement

Both the motorway and surrounding roads were gridlocked for most of the day, with some people concerned about the lack of information.

Others praised emergency services for handing out bottled water and called for others to make the best of a bad situation.

Police also revealed they were ivestigating a similar incident which took place on the same bridge last week, at around 4am on Saturday 16th September.

In this incident, an object was dropped into the carriageway and we received further reports that something was alight in the same location.

Officers attended and found a quantity of broken glass but no fire. A lane 1 closure was put in place for a very short time, to allow the debris to be cleared. No-one was hurt during this incident.

We know that a lot of people use this route at that time as part of their daily routine, and we urge anyone who witnessed either of these incidents, or who has any information, to contact police immediately on 101.

Did you see anyone on the bridge? We know dog walkers use the areas either side of the bridge. Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area?

We thank you for your patience and co-operation as we investigated yesterday’s incident, but again would like to reassure you that this is not being treated as a terrorist incident.

– Hampshire Police statement

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