The scene just before 9am on Monday morning going into Gibraltar. :: A. B.
It’s normally the other way around with thousands not being able to leave Gibraltar thanks to over zealous Guardia Civil officers at the border.
But last Monday morning several thousand frontier workers were stopped from entering the Rock after a suspect bag was found close to the airport runway at around 7.40am.
Shortly afterwards the Army’s Bomb Disposal unit was dispatched and the runway was shut, just at the start of the rush hour into Gibraltar.
A loud bang was heard just before 9am as the bag was detonated, with the runway re-opening minutes later.
Superintendent Richard Ullger, of the Royal Gibraltar Police, told SUR in English: “The matter is currently being investigated by the GDP (Gibraltar Defence Police), but it is safe to say that the suspect package found was not an IED (Improvised Explosive Device).
“It was discovered by the GDP, who police the military establishments based on the Rock.
“This happened in the height of when people and traffic movement was at its busiest. Due to the suspicious find we needed to close the road and form a sterile cordon in order to allow the military to deal with it.”
However, later that same day motorists leaving the Rock were subjected to queues of more than two hours, according to the Royal Gibraltar Police.
Queues started building just before 6pm as only one Guardia Civil Officer was searching cars leaving the Rock during rush hour, with one more officer searching motorbikes and bicycles.
A spokesman for Gibraltar’s government said after the bomb scare: “Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar takes note that the Spanish Government’s Delegate in the Cadiz Province, who frequently is highly critical of Gibraltar, had on this occasion offered help had it been required. The Government is glad of this change in attitude towards the Gibraltarians and thanks him publicly. It hopes that the apparent change in attitude is a permanent fresh approach that may help all those who cross the Gibraltar frontier.”