Replica bombs caused disruption
The possible bombs were spotted by staff at the town’s waste disposal facility. “When staff came to work this morning, they found a suspicious package,” explains Ölfus mayor Elliði Vignisson. “They took a picture of it and sent it to the police in Selfoss, and after just a few minutes some emergency procedure had clearly clicked into place and 20 minutes later we saw flashing lights around our reception centre.”
Nearly 20 local police, national police special forces, and coastguard bomb disposal specialists rushed to Þorlákshöfn, and their operation lasted around three-and-a-half hours. According to eyewitness accounts, the package contained mobile phones attached to pipes or other items. Þorsteinn M. Kristinsson, Selfoss police duty officer, says the incident is now under investigation.
Luckily, there was no bomb in the skip at the household waste and recycling centre—but bomb disposal experts did not go home without a task.
"I know that one local resident grabbed the opportunity and brought a bomb that he had had in his garage from the War, that he found when he was a kid, and brought it to the bomb disposal team. So it was at least not a wasted trip.”
So there was at least one bomb that they diffused?
“There is one fewer bomb, yes.”
Do you think many locals are that well-armed?
“No, I don’t expect so, as this is a peaceful town and people are totally honourable,” said the mayor.
RÚV spoke to the resident in question, who said he found the bomb many years ago on the beach near Þorlákshöfn when he was walking, and said he is relieved to see the back of it now.
Elliði says people were very curious about the major operation in their town, but that there was no fear. People trusted the emergency services and respected the evacuation zone, he explains.