By Tim Kalinowski on October 11, 2017.
Insp. Joe West of the Medicine Hat Police Service confirmed that a bomb threat was received at ATB Financial’s 2360 Division Ave. NE location in Medicine Hat at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.
A subsequent search of the premises by police and staff revealed an “out of place” object at that location, which was later identified to be a backpack.
The MHPS evacuated the building as a precaution and sent its bomb disposal unit and robots on site to determine the nature and contents of the backpack. The branch remained closed until about 12:30 p.m. while this examination took place. The area around the building was also sealed off as a precaution.
“We will use our robot to go up to where we can actually take an x-ray and a various number of pictures,” explained West. “Our explosive technicians can then view those pictures right on the spot and make a determination of the level of danger, if any.”
West confirmed upon examination the backpack was deemed harmless, containing only “normal stuff you would find in a backpack.”
When the threat first came in, the other two city ATB Financial locations were also searched as a precaution and no threats were found, said West.
“Anytime somebody receives a call like that, whether it be at any sort of location, we take it seriously. We work in partnership with the occupants of the building to make sure we can make that place safe as soon as possible.”
According to West, the MHPS will be actively investigating the source of the bomb threat using all resources at its disposal.
“The next stages will be determining the source of the call, and undertaking the usual investigative steps. We will be interviewing employees and so forth to try to determine who made the call, and what was their motivation… The hunt is on, so to speak.”
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