MANILA – Tension enveloped on Sunday morning the area near where twin explosions had rocked just hours earlier a merchants’ row in Quiapo, when police were drawn to an apparently abandoned blue bag.
A military canine unit raised the alarm when a sniff dog doing post-blast duties suddenly sat near the bag, found past 10 a.m. near a wall adjacent to Quezon Bridge.
The soldiers’ K-9 unit alerted the Manila Police District’s Explosives and Ordnance Division which was doing post-blast investigation on Norzagaray Street, one of the areas covered by a lockdown in the wake of Saturday’s successive blasts that killed two and injured six people.
The military K-9 unit was guarding the Quezon Avenue area when their sniff dog suddenly sat down near a bag.
The MPD’s EOD quickly dispatched its robot to determine the contents of the bag.
MPD had started deploying the robot late Saturday, after two police officers checking the site of an explosion at 5 p.m. were themselves injured in a second blast that happened past 8 p.m.
As the robot moved to check out the abandoned bag on Sunday morning, policemen fanned out in various directions to check out the stalls and sidewalks along Quezon Avenue.
After 20 minutes, it was determined that the mystery bag contained nothing but garbage, as the robot hoisted the bag to allow authorities a chance to remotely check it. Likewise, the search around Quezon Avenue’s sidewalks turned up no threats.
Nonetheless, authorities said the highest alert remained in effect in the Quiapo area, which was also hit by an explosion last April 29.
FOR A GLIMPSE OF A SNIFF DOG’S LIFE, SEE NEWS5’S GARY DE LEON’S VIDEO BELOW SHOWING K-9 UNIT AT WORK IN QUIAPO: