Saddleworth Independent sports editor Tony Bugby described it as the scariest moment of his life after finding himself caught up in a security scare on the opening day of competition in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
It came during the men’s cycling road race when a suspect package was found on the road fronting Copacabana beach and yards from the finish on cycling men’s road race.
“There was a huge blast and I was convinced a bomb had exploded nearby,” explained Bugby who admitted it was a moment of sheer terror.
He later discovered it was a controlled explosion of a bag that had been left unattended.
A bomb disposal team attended the scene, evacuated a nearby restaurant and cordoned off part of the road.
The bag was placed inside a metal freight container on the roadside and that is where the explosion took place.
“The container was no more than 15 yards from where I was stood and it was a surprise I and others weren’t evacuated from the press tribunes before the controlled explosion took place,” he added.
Bugby, who was reporting on the road race, added there was a smell of explosives in the air for some time, but the road and restaurant quickly reopened.
“It was soon over and a quick return to normality but, for a split second, I thought there had been a terrorist attack,” he explained.
It was not the first time Bugby has experienced a security scare at an Olympic Games.
He also had a narrow escape at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, one of seven he has covered.
There was a bomb explosion outside a cafe in the American host city that killed one person and injured a number of others.
“I walked past the cafe every day and I could have easily have been caught up in that incident,” he recalled.