The Devonshire Dock Hall shipbuilding complex, belonging to British defence giant BAE Systems, is home to the manufacturing facilities of the Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine.
A BAE Systems spokesperson confirmed that its shipbuilding facility on Barrow Island in Barrow-in-Furness had been evacuated Wednesday over an “ongoing incident” following media reports of a bomb on a nuclear submarine.
“As a precaution, the Devonshire Dock Complex has been closed,” the spokesperson said, according to Reuters. “Staff, contractors and local residents are being kept informed,” she added.
The spokesperson also confirmed to The Independent that BAE Systems was liaising with local police, who were said to be investigating the incident.
A police spokesman cited by The Guardian confirmed that “Police are on site at BAE and assisting staff.” The North West ambulance service said it received a call at 9:18 am local time. “We are currently on the scene but there are no known casualties,” a spokesperson said.
Earlier, an unidentified source told local newspaper The Mail that hundreds of staff had been evacuated from the Devonshire Dock following a warning about a bomb onboard an Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Media reported police and ambulances to be on the scene at the dock.
Located in northern England, about 95 km northwest of Manchester, the Devonshire Dock Hall is one of the largest indoor shipbuilding facilities of its kind in Europe. The site is home to the construction of the Astute-class submarine, a 1.4 billion pound ($1.8 billion) apiece nuclear-powered attack submarine in service with the Royal Navy. Four Astute-class submarines have been completed, with three under construction and another seven planned.