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Suspected explosive device in Barcelona turns out to be belt buckle

Police evacuate passengers from Sants station after scanner revealed grenade-shaped object in case

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07 November 2018 01:07 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona's main train station was brought to a halt on Wednesday morning when an object suspected of being an explosive device was reported by security guards around 8 am.

Two trains in Sants station were evacuated and the high-speed train service temporarily suspended after a scanner revealed a hand grenade-shaped object inside a case.

Police and a bomb disposal unit were called to the station, but as the case nor its owner could be found, the order was given to evacuate the Atocha station in Madrid, the passenger's supposed destination.

Yet, after a thorough search of the station, and after the bomb disposal experts had examined the artefact, police declared the incident to be a false alarm. The supposed explosive turned out to be a belt buckle in the shape of a hand grenade.

Soon after 9 am normal rail services were resumed, with trains on average circulating with a half-hour delay. Meanwhile, Madrid's Atocha station was reopened to the public.

Although the situation ended with no incidents, it raised concerns regards the station's security. Adif, the Spanish-government run company managing the train network, took 30 minutes to call the Catalan police, by which time the implicated passenger had already gotten on the train and was already on their way to Madrid.

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  • Image of the scanner at Sants station showing the hand grenade-shaped object in a passenger's suitcase on November 7, 2018 (by Catalan police)

  • Image of the scanner at Sants station showing the hand grenade-shaped object in a passenger's suitcase on November 7, 2018 (by Catalan police)

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