More than 100 people were evacuated this morning from the Hills Home Hub in Castle Hill following reports of a bomb threat.
Police said a threat was received at 9.10am forcing the evacuation of the centre’s north and south blocks.
View a gallery of pictures taken at the evacuation by clicking on the image below:
Hills Crime manager Gary Bailey wouldn't confirm whether it was a bomb threat or not and said an investigation is now underway into how the incident started.
‘‘It was a serious enough threat so we evacuated everyone from both buildings to a safe zone 100 metres away,’’ Detective Inspector Bailey said.
Police searched the buildings with sniffer dogs and cleared the area at 11.40am.
Harvey Norman salesman Rodney Dean told the News he first found out about the threat when a loudspeaker announcement was made in the centre.
‘‘We were told to exit the building and we thought it was a drill,’’ Mr Dean said.
‘‘After that we heard the sirens start, so it was something a bit different from our usual daily routine.’’
Another person to be evacuated was Adairs employee Christine Quinn.
Ms Quinn said everyone remained calm during the evacuation and they were only told about the threat once they were across the street.
One shopowner said he was told by police to leave his store immediately and did not have time to lock up his business.
The shopowner, who did not want to be identified, said their were rumours around the centre that the Commonwealth Bank had been robbed, but people had also heard it was a bomb scare.
Police searched the site with sniffer dogs.
The hub on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Showground Road is back in business.
Police are continuing their investigation.