TransLink ups security patrols in wake of bomb incident
Crude bomb found on tracks on Friday afternoon halted service
Transit police and security in Metro Vancouver were out in full force on Monday morning patrolling SkyTrain and Canada Line stations, trains and buses after a crude explosive device was discovered on the SkyTrain tracks on Friday.
The increased patrols were intended to the reassure the public that the police were taking the incident seriously, but did not appear to be affecting service during the morning rush.
"They will see a significant increase in security ... It will certainly be going on for several days this week," said TransLink Police spokesperson Anne Drennan.
The new security measures are based on a program used in New York city, she said.
"This program involves our officers meeting every train, and being strategically placed in front of the doors as they open," Drennan said.
"Once the passengers have gotten off, our officers get on very briefly, check the car, make sure everything is alright, let the passengers see them there, and then step back off, so this increases the visibility ... We have dog handlers with explosive sniffing dogs that are working around the clock to aid with these sweeps."
Police have also extended their investigation online to search for any possible suspects who might be bragging about the incident in social media, Drennan said.
B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond says officials are taking the transit bomb scare situation seriously, saying is pleased with the stepped up security at SkyTrain stations.
"We are hopeful that this is nothing more than someone deciding to be very irresponsible," she said. "That would be our best case scenario. And other than that we will continue to monitor and make sure that people feel safe around the SkyTrain route."
Crude device found near Scott Road Station
On Friday afternoon a passenger spotted three canisters strapped together with tape on the SkyTrain tracks near the Scott Road Station in Surrey.
The explosive device was attached to canisters that were the size of fire extinguishers and could have been thrown onto the guideway or it's possible someone climbed up to the area, Drennan said.
Explosives technicians believe the object would not have detonated on its own but may have been electronically or manually set off, Drennan said. She speculated the device was likely thrown onto the track from a nearby hillside.
The incident disrupted service on the SkyTrain system between the Scott Road and Gateway stations for about three hours. Officials conducted a sweep of the entire transit system Saturday, leading to three false alarms.
In once incident police shut down Main Street SkyTrain station for about half an hour after another suspicious package was spotted, but it turned out to be a purse with a wristwatch attached to the strap.