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M6 bus alert caused by electronic cigarette
3:22pm Thursday 5th July 2012 in Blackburn
A terror alert aboard a bus travelling from Lancashire to London was caused by an electronic cigarette.
The bus, travelling from Preston, was stopped on the M6 Toll after smoke was seen coming from a bag belonging to one of the passengers.
A statement issued by Staffordshire Police said: "Given the credibility of the information we received, we responded swiftly and proportionately. We can now confirm that, whilst this was a genuine security alert, the significant concerns reported to us were unfounded.
"The information received concerned a report of vapour escaping from a bag which on investigation turned out to be a health improvement aid for smokers.
"It’s important to state that no criminal offence has been committed and no passenger or any other member of the public is being treated as a suspect.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank passengers for their patience, cooperation and support.
"The coach has now been moved, the M6 Toll has now been reopened the passengers have been moved onto another bus and their property returned.
"We are liaising closely with the coach company, megabus.com, to ensure that their welfare needs – including onward or return journeys – are supported.
"Our utmost priority was the safety and security of the public and whilst on this occasion the incident was resolved peacefully without event, we want to encourage the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
"We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and hope that the public understand that we have our duty to safeguard public safety."
A spokesman for Megabus said: "Police have now given clearance for passengers to continue their journeys and we have made arrangements for them to travel to their chosen location.
"We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during today's police operation, which followed concerns raised by a passenger during the journey.
"The safety and welfare of our passengers and our staff is our absolute priority. We are providing refreshments for customers and also assisting them with onward transport when they arrive at their destination."
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