Bomb threat pranks, nothing to joke about – PS of Health
January 15, 2013

Bomb threat pranks, nothing to joke about – PS of Health

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Luis de Shong says he believes that the person(s) who continue to call in bomb threats have taken a joke too far.{{more}}

de Shong told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, that these prank calls pose a risk to the lives of others and cause a major inconvenience in most cases.

“I am making an appeal to the perpetrator or perpetrators to stop because it really has gone beyond what they consider to be a joke to a very serious matter.

“I think they have to reflect on their actions at this juncture, and whatever further plan that they have,” de Shong said.

He made these statements following several prank calls, beginning Friday, including a call to the Georgetown hospital on Sunday.

On Sunday, around 7 p.m., patients at the hospital were evacuated after a caller said an explosive was placed there.

“I think it is outrageous, in that I can’t believe that anybody would consider it as a prank, and it was an enormous inconvenience to the staff.

“It put them under tremendous stress and strain, because we had to evacuate the very few patients who are housed at the facility,” de Shong told SEARCHLIGHT.

“I want to commend the nurses for keeping their calm and taking the required actions in the circumstances. They really did a wonderful job,” he further said.

“Also, thanks to the police for responding promptly. They were very swift and they were communicating with us — with minister and me, and the senior nursing officer who is responsible for community nursing services.”

In 2008, a prank call at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital forced a full evacuation of the Kingstown location. There was another call to the facility in later 2011.

Meanwhile, just before 11 a.m. Friday, the E.T. Joshua Airport at Arnos Vale was evacuated, following a call to the facility that there was a bomb on the premises.

For almost three hours, services at the airport were halted, with flights diverted or delayed until security personnel gave the all-clear.

Yesterday, calls were made to the offices of the High Court in Kingstown and the female prisons at Fort Charlotte. (JJ)