Police continue to investigate after thousands of shoppers were evacuated from Brent Cross shopping centre following reports of a bomb threat.
Officers were called to the centre at approximately 9am on Saturday as staff and shoppers were told to evacuate.
Buses were diverted away from the scene as traffic ground to a standstill, with many drivers left wondering what was causing the hold-up.
The shopping centre shed little light on the chaos as it posted on Twitter: “Brent Cross has been evacuated and is currently closed. We'll let you know when the centre re-opens.”
The fire brigade and police were also temporarily reluctant to divulge any more information on the incident.
But it was not long before people realised there was a potential bomb scare.
Shoppers used Twitter to voice their concern. Melissa Bond posted: “Aaah just got evacuated from Brent Cross because of a bomb scare.”
And Samantha Holman tweeted: “Everyone stay away from Brent Cross! There's been a bomb scare and everyone's been evacuated."
Meanwhile large groups of people fled the scene having decided to leave their shopping trip for another day, as others were put off visiting the centre after hearing the news.
Priya Bhudia tweeted: “I shall pass on my shopping trip to Brent Cross #BombScare #bombsquad #allout #evacuated”.
The area was cordoned off while police and staff carried out a search of the building, but no bomb was found.
The centre was reopened shortly before 11am but a second bomb threat was reported to police just hours later at approximately 14.55pm.
Officer returned to the scene and carried out another search of the centre, but again no bomb was found and the centre was reopened at approximately 3.44pm.
In a statement about the day’s incidents, the shopping centre simply said: “We can confirm there was a security alert on Saturday which resulted in the centre being closed as the health and safety of our customers is paramount. Following police investigation the centre was reopened.”
Barnet Criminal Investigation Department are investigating.