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    HMS Audacious, the fourth Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine of the Royal Navy, is taken out of the indoor ship building complex at BAE Systems, Burrow-in-Furness, England, Thursday April 27, 2017. HMS Audacious is due to be launched later in 2017.

    Shipyard in Northern England Evacuated After 'Bomb Warning' on Nuclear Submarine

    © AP Photo / Owen Humphreys
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    The Devonshire Dock Hall shipbuilding complex, which belongs to the British defence giant BAE Systems, is home to the manufacturing facilities of the Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine.

    BAE Systems has released a statement saying that "nothing suspicious was found" at their Devonshire facility "following an extensive sweep" of the facility. The company said the decision to evacuate the facility was "purely precautionary," and based on employee safety being the company's "first priority."

    Earlier Wednesday, a BAE Systems spokesperson said that its shipbuilding facility on Barrow Island in Barrow-in-Furness had been evacuated following media reports of a bomb on a nuclear submarine.

    "As a precaution, the Devonshire Dock Complex has been closed," the spokesperson said, according to Reuters. "Staff, contractors and local residents are being kept informed," she added.

    The spokesperson also confirmed to The Independent that BAE Systems was liaising with local police, who were said to be investigating the incident.

    A police spokesman cited by The Guardian confirmed that "police are on site at BAE and assisting staff". The North West ambulance service said it received a call at 9:18 am local time. "We are currently on the scene but there are no known casualties," a spokesperson said.

    Earlier, an unidentified source told local newspaper The Mail that hundreds of staff had been evacuated from the Devonshire Dock following a warning about a bomb on board an Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarine.

    Media reported that police and ambulances were on the scene at the dock.

    Located in northern England, about 95 km northwest of Manchester, the Devonshire Dock Hall is one of the largest indoor shipbuilding facilities of its kind in Europe. The site is home to the construction of the Astute-class submarine, a 1.4 billion pound ($1.8 billion)  nuclear-powered attack submarine in service with the Royal Navy. Four Astute-class submarines have been completed, with three under construction and another seven planned.

    The facility is also responsible for the manufacture of a Dreadnought-class submarine, a new generation of ballistic missile subs set to replace the Vanguard-class which carries the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent.

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