Guests have been evacuated from a G7 hotel in Cornwall after a bomb scare when a suspicious package was found outside.
It comes as 11,000 police officers and military personnel form a ring of steel around the summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.
Those staying at the Falmouth Hotel received an abrupt wake-up call at 4.55am when police officers started banging on doors today.
The package was later found to be harmless with Devon and Cornwall Police saying it had been a hoax.
Detectives have now launched a criminal investigation.
Guests were told to immediately leave the building and congregate in a car park at the Victorian hotel that looks over Falmouth Bay – around 30 minutes away from the Carbis Bay hotel, where world leaders will meet this weekend.
As dawn broke police swooped on the hotel and searched bushes and flowerbeds while wearing headtorches as they looked for anything suspicious.
Some 100 guests stood in the car park before a sergeant arrived and ordered the group to another car park about 200 yards away from the ‘perceived threat’.
Those staying at the Falmouth Hotel received an abrupt wake-up call at 4.55am when police officers started banging on doors today. Pictured, the police cordon
The Mirror reported a member of staff said ‘it was a bomb scare’.
Photographs show people wearing dressing gowns while others threw on clothes they had easily to hand for the emergency evacuation.
Devon and Cornwall Police said officers rushed to the hotel at 3.15am to reports of a ‘suspicious package’ in the grounds surrounding the building. A member of staff at the Falmouth Hotel spotted the suspicious package.
The force said in a statement: ‘In order to maintain public safety, the area is currently being safely evacuated as a precautionary measure.
‘This will impact on those staying within the Falmouth Hotel, Madeira Hotel and campervans in the area, as well as neighbouring properties.’
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers declared the device ‘not viable’, the cordon was removed and guests have now been allowed back into their rooms.
A police spokesman said: ‘Following EOD assessment, the device has been declared not viable and therefore safe.
‘In total around 100 were displaced; these people are now being allowed back into their rooms and the 100 meter cordon is being removed.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officers declared the device ‘not viable’, the cordon was removed and guests have now been allowed back into the Falmouth Hotel (pictured)
‘A smaller scene guard will remain in place until the item is collected and removed by scenes of crime.
‘We currently believe that this was a hoax incident and a criminal investigation has been launched. We thank the public and those who were evacuated for their assistance.’
EOD officers arrived shortly before 5.30am and local businesses opened their doors to offer refuge as drizzle began.
An officer said: ‘This could all be over in five minutes but equally it could be a lot longer than that.’
A ring of steel surrounding the G7 summit in Carbis Bay has seen 11,000 police officers and 150 sniffer dogs gather to combat potential threats.
It comes after US president Joe Biden issued a stern rebuke to Boris Johnson for ‘inflaming tensions’ in Northern Ireland and threatening the peace process – over Britain’s stance with the EU over the ‘sausage war’.
The US President used his diplomats to express ‘great concern’ over the conflict and ‘strongly urged’ Britain to ‘stay cool’ and reach an agreement, even if that meant making ‘unpopular compromises’.
He even seemed to threaten the possibility of a future trade deal with the United States, claiming that Britain accepting demands to stick to EU agricultural rules would mean the issue would not ‘negatively affect the chances’ of coming to a free trade deal with Britain.
Mr Biden has begun his first foreign trip as president, consisting of eight days in Europe where he will meet Mr Johnson and his new wife Carrie, the rest of the G7 leaders, The Queen, NATO officials and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva.
The President and his wife Jill left Washington on Wednesday morning and landed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall to address US Air Force personnel stationed in Britain. At the start of his speech he told the standing troops to sit by saying ‘at ease’, then said: ‘I keep forgetting I am president’.