Melburnians heading home via Flinders St Station witnessed things grind to a literal halt when a heavily-armed bomb squad entered the station at around 5pm on Monday, without any proper explanation as to what on Earth was going on.
While the reason for the delay wasn’t officially announced, 7 News reports that someone at the station appears to have made a bomb threat.
“Police have completed their checks at Flinders Street,” a Victoria Police spokesperson told the Herald Sun at 6pm, when things were just wrapping up.
“The area has been deemed safe and will soon be rehabilitated.”
I JUST WANTED TO GO WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING pic.twitter.com/0uFZzxKPEN— Elizabeth 'EPCOT ball' DeLoria (@elizabethdanger) March 1, 2021
Heavily armed police seen leaving a platform at Flinders St Station. Chaos as all lines suspended. Passengers here are being told to "seek alternate transportation". @abcnews @abcmelbourne pic.twitter.com/HYNCBA9y3Z— Kristian Silva (@kristian_silva) March 1, 2021
#BREAKING: Chaos across the entire metropolitan train network as police evacuate Flinders Street Station for a 'safety check'. Major delays with aa services suspended. @10NewsFirstMelb pic.twitter.com/AswXJqqajN— James Bird (@JamesBirdTEN) March 1, 2021
Police swept through the station and stationary trains with machine guns, helmets, and the whole tactical shebang, really.
Their only message was for passengers to calmly get out.
In the end, platforms six, seven, eight and nine were all evacuated, with officers telling passengers to walk out past them.
The whole debacle finished up just after 6pm, but it was enough of a disruption to throw pretty much everything out of whack.
Everyone at Flinders Street told to evacuate all platforms. Critical Incident Response team just showed up with big guns pic.twitter.com/AMBixr0sZU
— Xavier Blair (@knowth1s) March 1, 2021
Flinders St. closed. What are police up to? #vicpol #auspol @VictoriaPolice @3AW693 @7NewsMelbourne @9NewsAUS @9NewsMelb @franks_chung pic.twitter.com/T89FAgcv2b— Julian Kendall (@jkmccrann) March 1, 2021
Trains didn’t resume until afterwards, and the knock-on effects lasted much later into the night.
On Twitter, heaps of people complained that the delays were still impacting them hours after the incident.
It sucks especially because today was the day that offices in Melbourne could operate at 75% capacity again.
What a dismal way to kick things off.
On the bright side: At least everyone was safe in the end.
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