Manhunt for bomber after panic at Parkade

A nationwide manhunt was up to last night continuing for a suspect in yesterday’s explosion at the Government Plaza Parkade in Port-of-Spain, which forced the T&T Police Service and Fire Service to cordon off parts of the capital city from pedestrian and vehicular traffic for several hours as they investigated.

Investigators told Guardian Media that they have a lead from Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video from buildings in the area and an arrest could be imminent.

Guardian Media understands that just minutes to 11 am, staff and other persons at the Parkade heard a loud explosion near the Parkade, located between Edward and Richmond Streets.

The explosion led to panic among customers at the facility attempting to get to their vehicles. Within 10 minutes, fire and police officials responded and streets were closed. Businesses and Government ministries were told to evacuate and close for the rest of the day.

After an hour, officers from the Special Branch and Central Police Station conducted investigations at the Government Plaza and Office of the Attorney General.

Guardian Media was told the investigative team found a device that appeared to be some modified firecrackers and it was detonated.

No one was injured and the only damage was to the dustbin the device was placed in.

In 2019, there was a similar incident at the Parkade, where personnel from the Explosive Detection and Disposal Unit (EDDU) attached to Special Branch were called in and a device was found.

However, speaking with Guardian Media yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob denied claims of an attack on the the Attorney General’s building, which is opposite the Parkade.

“In order to decipher whethere there was any sort of projectile that came from a firearm at the Attorney General’s Office, we had cause to use a drone and from what we discovered, there was no such situation existing. There was in fact a cracked glass pane but it had nothing to do with any projectile.”

Jacob said the police concluded that what happened at the Parkade was totally separate from the crack in the glass at the AG’s office.

He confirmed there was a manhunt for a suspect/s.

“We dont have all the information, as the investigation is ongoing. However, what I can say is that the device that was found in the bin that exploded was an antiquated piece of device fitted with some firecrackers and it created no damage to anyone or to property,” Jacob said.

He also said he was proud of the professional manner in which the TTPS followed international standards in dealing with the report, adding it was done to ensure the safety and security of people.

“Sometime in the past, a device was found at this said location and there seems to be persons who seem bent on creating hysteria within our country and they are jealous and envious as to what is happening in other countries and I think this is something that we should not pattern and persons seem to pattern things that they tend to see abroad,” Jacob said.

“It creates a high level of negativity in our country and we are asking persons to refrain from that sought of behaviour because it is not doing good for our country.”

Jacob also commented on a voice note circulating on social media on the weekend that alluded to attacks on the Besson Street Police Station and other incidents of crime in the capital.

“Persons are now using technology and social media in a negative way to affect the safety, security and the proper mindset of our people and we are doing our investigation to unearth the people responsible for causing this within our country and we will definitely bring them to justice and we have appointed an investigator.”

He said with this latest incidnet at the Parkade, the police will have to look at ways of increasing policing in those areas.

Investigations are continuing into these occurrences.

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