Sports editor caught up in bomb scare reporting at Rio 2016

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.

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The bomb disposal team taking off their protective gear after completing a controlled explosion

“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.

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The container inside which the controlled explosion took place

“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.

 

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