Tensions were high in Rio, Sunday evening, as bomb disposal experts detonated a dubious package outside the Maracana Stadium. The structure, which hosted the World Cup soccer final in 1950, is located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. It will serve as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, which will be starting on August 5.
Police noticed the suspicious item during rehearsals for the opening program and called in bomb experts to investigate. The authorities then sent in a robot to detonate the object in a controlled environment outside of the stadium gates. It was reported that the object was a small toolbox. No one was recorded injured or hurt, but the explosion triggered a bomb scare in social media.
There have also been conflicting reports whether the controlled explosion was merely a training exercise carried out by local police. Though many are still questioning the security and safety of Rio 2016.
Just last week, Brazilian police arrested 12 people suspected of planning terrorist acts in Rio 2016. According to reports, the ISIS inspired group, who were all Brazilian nationals, did not have any specific targets, but were in questionable conversations online. Security measures have been increased in venues, ever since.
Another security gaffe also transpired last Friday, when a fire broke loose in one of the buildings of the Olympic Village. This prompted the Australian Olympic team to immediately evacuate their rooms. Firefighters made quick work of the fire and the occupants were allowed to go back inside the building after thirty minutes.
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But some Australian athletes returned to their quarters only to find out that they had been robbed. Reports mentioned at least three laptops and some personal belongings missing. Since then, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has installed additional security measures to safeguard their athletes.
The question still remains-who will be safeguarding the 400,000 other people projected to attend the Olympic games?
PHOTO COURTESY: Pedro Lopez/ Flickr