Youth innocent of Atomium bomb hoax

10th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 March 2006, BRUSSELS — A 17-year-old Ghent boy arrested for a bomb hoax at the Atomium in Brussels on Wednesday has been proven innocent.

10 March 2006

BRUSSELS — A 17-year-old Ghent boy arrested for a bomb hoax at the Atomium in Brussels on Wednesday has been proven innocent.

The boy has told police that while he was travelling on a bus he loaned his mobile phone to two friends who wanted to "play a game".

When his friends gave the phone back to him, they said they had phoned in a bomb hoax, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported on Friday.

A Children's Court has since sentenced the two friends to an 80-hour community work order and payment of damages. The final damages bill could mount to EUR 8,000. The two culprits also spent a night in the cell.

The bomb scare forced the closure of the Atomium for 90 minutes on Wednesday as police searched the tourist attraction for explosives.

Brussels police were alerted to the threat at about 12.20pm after a phone call was placed with news service VTM.

Some 500 tourists were evacuated from the building, but police found no trace of explosives and the all clear was given 90 minutes after the drama started.
  
Police inquiries later led to the 17-year-old Ghent youth.

Meanwhile, Brussels police were alerted to another bomb scare on Thursday when fears were raised over a car with foreign number plates parked on the Naamsepoort.

A call was placed with news service RTL and responding police found a car with Spanish plates parked behind the royal palace.

The vicinity was evacuated and the bomb disposal squad called in.

But before the squad could start its bomb-clearing operation, the unsuspecting owner of the vehicle showed up. Police then gave the area the all-clear.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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