Prague shopping mall evacuated after bomb scare

By Annies Joy

A shopping centre in the heart of Prague was evacuated this afternoon after a bomb alert.

The Nový Smíchov shopping mall was evacuated earlier today and sealed off by police, who issued several brief statements as the drama unfolded.

Local people, shop assistants, and tourists were confused when they were first confronted by police cornering off Plzeňská Street.

Stroupežnicky Street was also closed.

Initially, the public were not allowed to go through the street even though the trams were. They did not, however, stop there for passengers to get off at the mall.

The tram service was later shut off as more fire engines and ambulances arrived at the scene.

Local media reported the city’s integrated rescue system and fire service were quickly on site. “Specially trained dogs searched for explosives,” police said.

Pražský.deník.cz reported that the shopping mall was evacuated due to “some serious technical problems.”

Michaela Duskova, 21, was working at Marionnaud in the Novy Smichov Shopping centre in Prague, while the announcement was made. She later found out that it was a bomb scare.

She told the Leicestershire Press: “While I was working, me and the other workers were asked to leave the shopping centre immediately.”

By about 5pm, they had been waiting for two hours and had been told they could not go home until they got a call from their boss. They thought it would still be two to three hours until they were able to go back.

A few minutes later, the police made a line in each corner of the junction trying to block any public from trying to pass through to the area of the incident and asked people to move further away.

Following this, a voice announcement was repeatedly played in Czech in the nearby underground metro station, Anděl, warning people about the alert. Many workers were returning from work as this warning was played alerting them of the situation above ground.

Here are the voice reports from the scene:

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