Alarm as series of bombs scares continue
5 April 2004
AMSTERDAM — The spate of recent bomb scares in the Netherlands continued on Monday as two more suspicious packages sparked speedy evacuations. Both bomb scares were a false alarm.
After Amsterdam Central train station was cleared on Sunday night and a suspicious suitcase was found in Nijmegen on Monday, the discovery of a suspicious package on an intercity train at about midday on Monday led to rail transport delays.
The package was found on a train that was about to depart from Utrecht to Rotterdam. The train was moved to the Utrecht Lunetten station where the EOD was called in to examine the package.
Train traffic between Utrecht and Culemborg was shut down. The Utrecht Lunetten station and the immediate vicinity was evacuated, public news service NOS reported.
But four hours later, the EOD said it had not found find any trace of explosives, but suspected that someone had deliberately left the package on the train to spark unrest.
The bomb threats have cost Dutch rail operator NS hundreds of thousands of euros, a spokesman said on Monday, revealing that a large number of passengers are demanding a partial refund on tickets due to resulting delays.
The NS is also being forced to deploy more personnel and money is also being lost due to the fact that fewer commuters are being transported. The NS intends to demand financial compensation from the culprits.
Meanwhile, a forgotten suitcase sparked alarm in the centre of Nijmegen on Monday. The suitcase was found by members of the civilian city watch (stadswacht) and police sealed off a wide area around the Mariënburg.
Since the 11 Madrid bombings in Madrid police are taking every threat seriously and all office blocks in the area were evacuated, as was the central library and the cultural centre LUX.
The EOD was quick to respond to the alarm, but a female student had already reported to police confessing that the suitcase was hers. The all clear was given at about 11am.
Monday’s bomb scares came after Amsterdam Central was evacuated at about 10.15pm on Sunday. The EOD used explosives to detonate a suspicious package found at platform 15, but the object itself probably did not contain explosives.
The latest bomb scares follow three false alarms on 25 March when the Amsterdam, Roosendaal and Leiden train stations were sealed off. A false alert was also reported on the A4 motorway at Rijswijk on 24 March.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news