A suspect Jiffy bag triggered a bomb scare at a north-east engineering plant yesterday.
Police cordoned-off land around the Score Group’s HQ in Peterhead and warned neighbours – including staff and pupils at a local primary school – to stay indoors.
Bomb disposal experts were called after staff received a suspicious package in the morning mail.
The parcel, which is believed to have contained mechanical parts, was delivered to a valve manufacturing workshop at the rear of Score’s main building.
Members of The Royal Logistics Corps’ explosive ordnance disposal team were dispatched from Edinburgh and arrived at the scene under police escort just after 3pm.
They spent more than two hours examining the device before handing it over to police.
A spokesman said that an investigation had been launched.
The force’s local area commander, Chief Inspector Elaine Logue said: “This was an isolated incident involving a package which staff felt was suspicious.
“We did not have to evacuate the factory, but we moved staff to another part of the building, a safe distance away from this device.
“A cordon was set up around the site and nearby residents were advised to stay indoors.”
She added: “We’d like to thank the management and staff at Score for their co-operation today and we would reassure residents that they were not at risk.”
Score’s deputy managing director, Conrad Ritchie, said: “This was a package that came in with the external mail.
“It was an ordinary Jiffy bag, but its contents caused concern amongst some of the staff and the police were called.
“We’re 99.9% sure that this is a hoax, but we’re not going to take any risks. Because inquiries are ongoing, I don’t really want to say any more than that.”
The incident happened just 24 hours after the Score Group announced it had bought the nearby former HMP Peterhead.
The company wants to turn the site into a new training centre and storage facility, creating about 40 jobs.
The firm is one of the area’s biggest employers and operates from 30 locations in more than 20 countries. Two years ago, bosses announced a £5million investment in its Peterhead site.
Residents living around the factory said they had been told by police to stay inside.
Officers had also warned staff at nearby Burnhaven Primary School about the package and advised them not to let children outside.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said that the school did not have to be evacuated.