Traders have spoken of the ‘surreal’ moment they were asked to evacuated a business park after guns and grenades were found attached to a lorry.
Armed police along with members of the National Crime Agency cordoned off part of Rosier Business Park in Billingshurst yesterday afternoon (May 17).
Business were told to leave the area as the Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit investigated the lorry.
Five handguns, three hand grenades and several dozen rounds of ammunition were found magnetically attached to the bottom of the vehicle in two plastic cases.
James Grant, marketing director at Airwave Europe, said: “We had a police helicopter and there was whisperings of armed police outside which we ignored as we thought it was a joke.
“Somebody came up and said ‘we’ve got to leave, we’ve got to leave, we’re being evacuated because there’s a bomb’.
“For me it brought back memories of being back at school when you have your first fire alarm.
“I was very surreal. We don’t often have armed police with MP5s coming to our building.”
He added there was a queue of traffic as other traders jumped in their cars and left the scene.
Becky Wealthy, of digital marketing agency Smart Monkey, said: “I was just working then a policeman came in and said something has been found outside.
“Everyone got in their cars and took off.
“I wasn’t really that worried, I thought it was a routine check.”
The business park is also home to Sussex Coaches depot. The company said it was forced to move its fleet to the nearby Weald School for the evening.
Abigail Main, director at Main Training, is based at the park and left just before the evacuation took place.
She said she was ‘quite surprised’ to hear of the incident, especially taking place in Billingshurst.
The park is open today as usual with businesses allowed to return.
A lorry driver, a man in his 40s from the Brighton area, has been arrested on suspicion of the importation of firearms and explosives.