CHESTERFIELD TERROR PLOT: '˜You don't expect it in your town...'
The first most residents heard of it was shortly after 8am.
40-year-old Manuel Pialla, who runs the Premier shop on Sheffield Road, had just opened up his premises.
“The police came round and told me we had to leave for our own safety,” he said.
After taking their kids to school, the shopkeeper and his wife were forced to escape the bitter cold in their van until the cordon was lifted.
An evacuee who was escorted through the police tape with her young son said she was ‘still in shock’.
The pair were quickly whisked away to the Proact, which by then had begun to be used as a temporary refuge for displaced residents.
By this time, the regional and national media had arrived, with reporters there from Look North, Sky News and the Daily Mail.
Theresa Shaw, of Stand Road, said she couldn’t believe it.
“We thought it was just a car crash,” she said.
“This kind of thing doesn’t happen around here at all.”
“You hear a lot of stories about terrorism but you don’t expect it to come to your town.
“This is the reason why there needs to be armed police on the streets - they are there to protect us.”
A woman from a local business said she too was stunned at what she was seeing.
“You get some local thugs like anywhere but we have never had anything like this,” she said.
“All we have heard is that it is terrorism related - it is scary.”
Trying to keep warm - and his eyes open - was Jordan Batteson, who couldn’t get back to his King Street North house.
The 25-year-old had just finished a night shift at Tesco Extra and said he just wanted to go to bed.
“The street is just quiet, middle-aged couples,” he said.
“But there have been a few more recent arrivals in the last couple of months.”
The prevailing mood in the area was largely one of shock and surprise.
But one man, who did not want to be named, bemoaned the fact events such as this seemed to be coming more and more common.
“You can’t really say it is a shock, can you?” he said.
“It is so widespread now.”