Locals terrified as dockyard nuclear siren goes off in 'false alarm'

The siren was sounded outside of its usual testing period, causing mass panic after locals heard it at around 2pm today - just hours after the usual test at 11.30am. The Devonport Naval Base siren has never been sounded for a real event, but is part of a robust safety plan in case there ever is an emergency.

After the incident occured, the Ministry of Defence confirmed to PlymouthLive that the siren - which is situated outside the base at Camel’s Head, Keyham, Bull Point and across the water at HMS Raleigh - sounded as part of a false alarm.

Plymouth City Council has also confirmed that there is a fault on a “single siren” and there is “no cause for concern”.

There will now be an investigation to find out why the alarms sounded.

“Some of you may have heard the siren from the dockyard go off this afternoon,” said a council spokesperson. “We have received assurances from both the MOD and Babcock that this is a fault on a single siren and there is no cause for concern.”

Plymouth MP Luke Pollard has reassured residents there is no emergency, but raised fears that residents in the city would not have “confidence” in the siren if it goes off outside the regular weekly test.

He said: “Just heard from the Royal Navy at Devonport that the nuclear alarm going off is a FALSE ALARM and there is no nuclear accident. As a city we need confidence that when the sirens go off outside the regular weekly test, it is real. False alarm today, please do not worry Plymouth.”

Many residents flooded social media with worried messages. One said that the alarm had “panicked quite a few people”.

Another added: “Any idea why the Dockyard siren was just sounding? It went off at its usual time this morning but has just sounded again?”

A spokesperson for the MoD reported: “The Naval Base emergency alarm has sounded this afternoon outside of the normal 11.30am Monday test. This is a false alarm and no action is required to be taken.

“There will be an investigation to determine the cause of the unplanned alarm.”

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