More than 100 homes remain evacuated in Cheltenham after two men were arrested under suspicion of terrorism offences. Police have erected a 200 metre cordon around a garage in Buttermere Close following the discovering of an item "requiring further investigation."
At the moment we unfortunately are not able to say when we will be able to lift the cordon
It remains in place for the public's safety and we have seen that it is justified by the results of the search thus far.
However we will endeavour to return the area to normality as soon as practicable when we can ensure there is no risk of harm to local residents."
Two men arrested in Cheltenham yesterday, have both been rearrested on suspicion of the commission, instigation or preparation of a terrorist act.
It follows an examination of the items found in a garage in Buttermere Close in the Hatherley area of Cheltenham.
The South East Counter Terrorism Unit has now taken over the investigation.
The 52-year-old man and 31-year-old-man are both from Cheltenham. They remain in police custody.
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Gloucestershire Police say it is highly unlikely families evacuated from their homes in Up Hatherley in Cheltenham will be able to return tonight.
A 200m police cordon was setup on Friday around a garage in Buttermere Close whilst an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team search the building.
We sincerely apologise to all of those affected by today’s events. We know these are difficult circumstances but we ask for their patience and support.
This is a painstaking and methodical process in which everyone's safety is absolutely paramount. For this reason the specialist searches that are being carried out cannot be rushed.
Unfortunately this means that we are now almost certain we won’t be able to clear the cordon this evening to allow people back into their homes.”
Earlier a 52 year old and a 31 year old man were arrested during a planned police operation looking into the potential misues of explosives.
Fifty houses have been evacuated in Cheltenham after two man were arrested under the Explosives Substances Act.
A 52-year-old man was arrested as part of a planned policing operation. A 24-year-old man has also been arrested.
The street in Cheltenham has been evacuated after the house was reduced to rubble in a gas explosion.Read the full story ›
Gloucestershire Correspondent Ken Goodwin has sent this report from the scene:
Police describe the damage after a gas explosion in Cheltenham.
Jon Hall, Chief Fire Officer for Gloucestershire (@GlosFireChief) has tweeted this picture from the scene of the gas explosion in Cheltenham:
He confirms that an elderly woman trapped in an adjoining building of the house that exploded in Rosehill Street, Cheltenham has been rescued.