Bomb-scare welcomes world champs Brazil to China

GUANGZHOU: Bomb experts and police scoured one of southern China’s busiest airports ahead of the arrival of the Brazilian football team after an anonymous caller phoned in threats, press reports said yesterday. 

For several hours ahead of Monday’s arrival of the Brazilian team, including superstars Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, Guangzhou police had cordoned off and evacuated large parts of Baiyun Airport, the Information Daily reported. 

The anonymous caller told airport authorities mid-afternoon on Monday that three bombs had been placed in the airport, resulting in a widespread search of airport facilities, the report said. 

After locating several “suspicious objects”, police cordoned off and evacuated several departure zones and a garden area at the exit of the airport. 

Investigation and removal of the objects by the bomb squad continued until late on Monday evening, but normal airline traffic was not interrupted due to the threat, it said. 

No public announcement of the bomb scare was made. 

Journalists covering the arrival of Brazil, who play a friendly against China today, complained of the team’s delay, but Chinese football officials told AFP they were unaware of any “bomb scare”. 

China’s airways have been under increased security following a Feb 2 hijack attempt by a 39-year-old Chinese man, who demanded to be taken to Taiwan after lighting a fire in the cabin of a flight from Beijing to Fuzhou city, southeastern Fujian province. 

Security personnel aboard the flight managed to subdue the would-be hijacker and the plane landed safely with its 149 passengers in Fuzhou. – AFP  

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