For the second time this year a portion of Prince Rupert was closed off due to a bomb threat.
While many in the city might still be thinking about the threat to the DFO offices downtown last April, this time it was the Canadian Fish Plant operations on George Hills Way that found itself as the centre of attention in the city.
The Daily News had two separate stories on the incident, the first one a small item in the August 1st paper, with a follow up article in the August 5th edition of the paper, interestingly enough neither item made it as the headline story.
Police evacuate cannery after bomb threat
The Daily News
Friday, August 1, 2008
At approximately 10 a.m. Friday an alleged bomb threat was called in to the Canadian Fishing Company plant on George Hills Way.
RCMP had no comment on the matter Friday morning by press time because the threat was still under investigation.
Troy, a worker at the plant who wished to not have his surname published was at the plant to pick up his paycheck. Friday was payday.
“Everyone was sent home at about 10 a.m.,” he confirmed.
However, workers could be seen standing around outside the plant still in their working clothes, hairnets and rubber gloves. Many milled about outside until they were told to go home.
According to Troy, it was the first bomb threat the plant has received.
Plant Manager Lori Wilson and union representative Joy Thorkelson were both on hand talking to RCMP investigators at the scene. Neither could comment, other than to confirm workers had been evacuated.
According to Thorkelson, a few workers remained inside the plant at noon, including an engineer. See Tuesday’s Daily News for more.
Police sift through fall-out after bomb threat
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Last Friday was payday at the CANFISCO plant but workers got far more than they were expecting.
At approximately 10 a.m. Friday morning an alleged bomb threat was called in to the fish plant on George Hills Way.
As of Friday afternoon, Prince Rupert RCMP were not commenting on much, other than they we were still investigating the threat.
"We are at a critical stage of the investigation but we can confirm that we are indeed investigating a bomb threat," said Const. Krista Vrolyk, community-policing officer with the Prince Rupert RCMP.
Vrolyk was very reticent to speak too much on the subject for security reasons, saying the RCMP does not wish to encourage copycat threats.
"By giving people publicity - to give them credibility - who threatens to bomb anything from a school to a post office is not something we want to do."
RCMP would not confirm nor deny that they used a police dog in the investigation but they do have a dog that is capable of, what Vrolyk called: "explosive detection."
While the police did their work inside, fish plant workers stood around outside awaiting word on whether they were going to be allowed back inside the plant.
Plant crew could be seen standing around outside the facility still in their work gear - still in their hairnets and rubber gloves.
Soon, workers were told the plant was going to be closed down and that they were to go home for the day, though not all employees got the message.
Troy, a worker at the plant who wished not to have his surname published, was still at the plant at 11:45 a.m. hoping to pick up his paycheck.
"Everyone was sent home at about 10 a.m.," he confirmed as he and couple of other workers on their off days stood around waiting for word on whether they were going to get paid or not. According to Troy, this was the first bomb threat the plant has received.
Plant manager Lauri Wilson and union representative Joy Thorkelson were both on hand talking to RCMP investigators at the scene but neither could comment, other than to say that all the workers under Thorkelsen's union were out.
According to Thorkelson, there were only a few workers remaining inside the plant by about noon, including an engineer.
It was the second bomb threat in Prince Rupert in the last six months.
In April, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans regional office on Second Avenue West was shut down after a bomb threat was made against DFO buildings in Vancouver and Nanaimo.
The threat was found to be just that - a threat - but the RCMP and the Prince Rupert Fire Department still shut down a good portion of the downtown area as a precaution.