IAN KEVIN RAMDHANIE
Caribbean Institute for Security
and Public Safety
The police were called out yesterday to the Ministry of Sport following a bomb scare which sent employees scampering to safety. Confirmation of the bomb threat on the ministry’s Abercromby Street Port-of-Spain, main office came from acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams. He said: “The Ministry of Sport had a bomb scare from the personnel at the ministry. I was in fact contacted. I made arrangements for bomb technicians to visit the ministry. “We also got in contact with Fire Services and the Guard and Emergency Branch who visited the location.”
Upon checking, Williams said, the scare turned out to be a hoax. “It was a bomb scare without merit. We have dealt with that matter,” he added. Williams said he was notified by the ministry’s acting permanent secretary Ian Radman about the scare. T&T Guardian photographer Michael Bruce and reporter Shaliza Hassanali were at the ministry speaking to Life Sport programme director Cornelius Price when the ministry received the threat around 11.30 am and had to evacuate the building.
While the building was being evacuated there was also talk that three Life Sport programme members had stormed the building demanding payments for their services. Ministry officials said that too was a hoax. A source at the ministry said yesterday’s incident took place while the ministry was instituting a new security plan for its building and employees. During the interview, Price received a call on his cellphone and left the conference room in a hurry. He returned seconds later saying: “Guys we have to vacate the building immediately... the building is under threat.” On reaching the ground floor, Price, after speaking to security officers, said he heard “it was a bomb threat.” After employees and members of the public left the building, the ministry’s main door was locked and the side gate leading to the car park was chained. Price said later that because of the negative publicity Life Sport had been receiving in the last few weeks, people were “getting carried away with the atmosphere.” He said he was happy that everyone in the building came out safe.