Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Olympics security forces fear Atlanta-style explosion

VANCOUVER - Olympics security forces fear a repeat of the fatal bomb blast that rocked Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Games.

“It is an area of concern to us,” deputy police chief Steve Sweeney told council last week.

During the 2010 Games, no receptacles such as newspaper boxes or litter bins will be allowed within 100 metres of official venues. That’s to stop would-be bombers from hiding explosives in crowded areas. The restrictions are standard practice for security events of this size, Sweeney said.

But those measures won’t apply to public areas such as downtown pedestrian corridors, where thousands of people will congregate.

“That’s where it’s really up to the police officers on duty to be extra vigilant,” Sweeney said.

During Atlanta’s ill-fated 1996 Olympics, a pipe bomb filled with nails and screws was placed under a bench at a concert attended by tens of thousands. Two people died – one indirectly – and 111 were injured when it exploded.

The upcoming 2010 Olympics will see the biggest peace-time security operation in Canadian history. Over 7,000 police, 4,500 armed forces and 5,000 private security guards will be divided between the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

The Vancouver police department plans to “enhance” its presence in public areas to make sure an Atlanta-style attack doesn’t happen.

“Were going to have significant number of foot patrol officers,” Sweeney said. “That will be our first line of defence against attacks of that nature.”

Geoff Dembicki reports for The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus