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Bomb Disposal Team Called to Christchurch Cathedral

Bomb Disposal Team Called to Christchurch Cathedral

At around 1pm on Monday afternoon (21/10/19) a loud bang was heard coming from a bin on
Christchurch Place, right next to the cathedral. Gardaí were alerted and the incident was treated asa potential explosive threat. The area was evacuated and the bomb disposal team was called in.

Armed soldiers were also brought in to provide extra security.

The bomb disposal unit were there to conduct a “post-blast analysis” and not to defuse a device but
they had no way to tell if there may have been other explosives in the bin. It was feared that a larger
device may have been placed in the bin that had only partially gone off.

A technician deployed a robot equipped with a telescopic arm and camera to investigate. Once the
robot had concluded its search another technician put on a blast suit and prepared to further
investigate the scene. He approached the bin cautiously in his green armoured protective suit,
reminiscent of a scene from The Hurt Locker. Using a mirror on a telescopic stick he checked for
tripwires and potential booby traps before safely removing the suspected bomb and placing it in an
evidence bag.

A large crowd had gathered to watch the incident unfold. They didn’t seem too worried for their
safety as they watched on with smartphones and cameras in hand, hoping to get some good photos
and videos for their social media accounts. Some of the onlookers were more concerned about
whether or not they would be in trouble for taking an extended lunch break, while tourists
speculated if their tickets for the cathedral would still be valid.

By 3pm the area was declared safe and the scene was handed back to the Gardaí for forensic
analysis. The suspicious package removed from the bin was analysed and the suspected bomb
turned out to be a brown envelope containing a firework, a flower and a piece of paper with some
text on it. Detectives are now investigating the incident. It is not yet known if this was a prank or if it
was something more malicious.

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