'Bomb' delays Stormers return

    2011-06-20 12:28
    Chippie Solomons (Gallo Images)
    Jana van der Merwe

    Bloemfontein - The Stormers almost didn't make it back to Cape Town on Sunday after beating the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby clash when a "bomb" was discovered at the Bloemfontein Airport.

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    A suspicious sports bag in the airport building, pointed out as a possible bomb by a police dog, turned out to be just a bag full of women's underwear.

    Springbok centre Jean de Villiers, who played right wing for the Stormers over the weekend, said they were already on the airplane at 10:00 when the pilot announced that the airport has been evacuated.

    "When we heard this, we were relieved be on the plane, because we also heard of flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town being cancelled due to volcanic ash."

    Dog unit

    Team-manager Chippie Solomons, who sat next to De Villiers on the plane, said they were not delayed at all.

    "We all had our sports bags with us! That certainly was a different kind of bomb! We're just happy that everything was fine at the airport afterwards."

    Airport manager Johan Scholtz said a suspicious bag was found in the terminal on Sunday.

    "Nobody claimed the bag. We don't take chances. We evacuated the building and called in the dog unit. A sniffer dog that was brought to the bag, immediately lay down, which means the bag may possibly contain explosives."


    Scholtz said the police bomb unit with two more dogs also responded positively by lying down.

    "We also initially laughed about the find, but like I said, we take no chances."

    "For the dogs to have gone and lied down by the bag, meant that there was probably ammunition or a firearm in the bag previously."

    An investigation was started to determine the owner of the bag.

    "As part of the investigation, all security cameras will be checked," he said.

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