Rio’s anti-bomb squad conduct controlled explosion at basketball venue

Abandoned backpack found before Olympic basketball match between Spain and Nigeria

A police bomb squad works outside the Carioca 1 arena after finding a suspicious bag. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

A police bomb squad works outside the Carioca 1 arena after finding a suspicious bag. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

 

Rio’s anti-bomb squad conducted a controlled explosion at the Olympic basketball venue ahead of Thursday’s game between Nigeria and Spain in the men’s competition.

This follows two previous controlled explosions at the Games, the first last Friday outside the beach volleyball venue and the second on Saturday at the finish line of the women’s road cycling race.

A statement from Rio 2016’s organisers said an abandoned backpack was found at the Olympic Park’s Carioca Arena 1 shortly before the crowd was due to be allowed into the venue.

They were kept outside while experts assessed the situation and then detonated the backpack. Journalists, officials and players were in the building but were not considered to be in danger.

The statement added that when the bag’s remains were inspected, it was found to contain a tablet computer, a pair of socks and a jacket.

Ticket-holders were admitted immediately afterwards and the game started on time, with Spain beating Nigeria 96-87.

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