A faulty fire alarm in the Next shop has sparked an evacuation at Bluewater shopping centre.
The fire alarms sounded at around 12.30pm on Saturday 11th March and shoppers in the area were asked to leave the centre. Shops surrounding the Next shop were also advised to bring down their shutters until the cause of the alarm could be established.
Bluewater security staff were soon on hand to run out temporary barriers across the walkways to effectively close one-third of the centre. Shoppers were not able to enter a zone between Pandora and Boots on both levels for around 2 hours.
Although around 300 people were ushered outside via the nearest exit, other shoppers were allowed to continue browsing in the remaining area of the centre. The fire brigade were soon on hand to check the fire alarm and report that no fire was found.
The shopping centre was fully reopened just after 2.30pm.