An Army bomb disposal unit arrived at a college in south Manchester as part of an ongoing police operation this morning.
A large cordon was set up around the Castlefield campus in Hulme, Greater Manchester, but it was later reported to be a false alarm after the discovery of a suspicious package.
Police confirmed that they had been called to the college and that the Army had been deployed.
Greater Manchester Police later said they had been called in relation to a ‘possible suspicious package’ adding ‘this has now been deemed safe and the cordon has been removed.’
Several roads were closed and officers were ‘currently assessing the situation’.
It was not immediately clear whether the smoke was coming from the area where the alert was – around Linby Street and Jackson Crescent.
Dozens of police officers were at the scene and a cordon has been widened a couple of times.
As the evacuation continued, Prime Minister Theresa May said the threat level ‘will remain at critical and the public should remain vigilant’.
Police said in a statement earlier: ‘Police are responding to a call at a college in [Hulme].
‘The following roads are currently closed – Mancunian Way, Linby Street and Jackson Street.
‘Officers are in attendance and we are currently assessing the situation.’
The Prime Minister said around 1,000 members of the Armed Forces were still assisting the police across the country, ‘providing important reassurance ahead of a Bank Holiday weekend of busy events’.
Mrs May, who is due to travel to the Nato summit later on Thursday, said she would work with ‘international colleagues on defeating terrorism’ at the gathering.
On Friday the Prime Minister will attend a G7 summit in Italy where she said she will ‘lead a discussion on counter-terrorism and on how we will work together to prevent the plotting of terrorist attacks online and to stop the spread of hateful extremist ideology on social media’.
She also expressed her gratitude for the ‘expressions of support and condolences that the UK has received from international colleagues in recent days’.
She added: ‘G7 and Nato will enable us to work more closely together as we work to defeat the evil of terrorism.’