Fireworks created Nanaimo’s tent city bomb scare

What was feared to be a pipe bomb found Friday afternoon in a container at Nanaimo’s tent city turned out to be fireworks.

Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien said the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit arrived from Vancouver Friday night, X-rayed the item and determined it was not a threat.

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A section of Nanaimo’s tent city was evacuated and the RCMP called in an Explosives Disposal Unit after what appeared to be a pipe bomb was discovered at about 4 p.m. Friday.

The fireworks were found by a camper, “who picked it up and placed it next to the chain-link fence next to Front Street” and across from Port Place shopping centre, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.

Campers within a certain radius of the device were evacuated and a section of Front Street was closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, said O’Brien.

The evacuated campers were offered space at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre to wait.

The tent city had been ordered closed by midnight Friday, but was granted a week-long extension by the city while court arguments by campers to stay until modular housing is available are heard.

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