Dozens evacuated in Lisbon bomb scare

Dozens of people have been evacuated from the Lisbon building that houses the civil registry office in Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo.

A suspect package was identified outside the building shortly after 3.30pm this afternoon. All business has been suspended.

The area has been closed to traffic as bomb squad operatives move in.

UPDATE 5.30pm:

Police have ‘enlarged the perimetre’ around the site, forcing the evacuation of various buildings and shops between Saldanha and Marquês de Pombal. These are areas in the centre of Lisbon which suggests traffic flow will be hugely disrupted as the end-of-day rush-hour begins.

UPDATE 6.30pm:

In an obscure statement after hours of uncertainty, police commissioner Sérgio Soares reported that the suspicious object had been evaluated and found “not to contain any explosive product”.

What it was, for now, remains a mystery though noticiasaominuto suggests the anonymous call that started this particular scare may now be investigated.

The upshot of the afternoon’s drama is that hundreds of people were evacuated from their places of work and one possibly deeply disappointed couple had their civil wedding service postponed.

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