Vancouver police say an investigation into a suspicious device placed near the route of the city’s annual marathon delayed its start by an hour and was placed to ‘sow panic or disrupt the event’, according to a communicated.
A volunteer for the BMO Vancouver Marathon, which also includes a half-marathon distance, alerted police to the device around 5 a.m. PT Sunday near Science World and promptly called 911, according to a statement from the police department. of Vancouver.
Officers cordoned off the area and the force’s bomb technicians were deployed to examine and destroy the device.
“The emergency response team determined that the device was not at risk of exploding and did not pose an immediate danger to the public, but the start of the race had to be delayed while the device was returned inert,” the statement read.
Police did not describe what the device looked like.
“Does not risk exploding”
sergeant. Steve Addision said it appears the device was “strategically” placed along the half marathon route where runners would pass.
“Whoever did this was probably aiming to create panic or disrupt the event,” he said.
Investigators from the Major Crimes Section, Forensic Identification Unit and VPD Operations Division are now collecting additional evidence.
No arrests were made.
The event’s half-marathon distance was scheduled to start at 7 a.m., with the marathon taking place at 8:30 a.m.
Sunday’s race marked the event’s 50th anniversary and a return to in-person racing after it was canceled in 2020 and virtualized in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marathon organizers warned the reopening to traffic at the end of the race could also be delayed by the early police incident.
In 2019, a record 18,000 runners participated in the full marathon, half marathon or eight kilometer run at the event.