Bus evacuated after Norwegian ?bomb drama?

A Swedish bus has been evacuated in Norway after suspicions were raised that one of its passengers was carrying a bomb. The Swebus Express service from Oslo to Stockholm, carrying sixty Swedish and Norwegian passengers, was stopped on Sunday afternoon at Askim, near the border with Sweden. It appears that passengers had become concerned by the behaviour of one of their number.

According to Svenska Dagbladet, passengers raised the alarm because the man, who appeared to have African origins, was fiddling with “something that looked like a clock,” and talking to himself in French. Other reports added that the man was dressed in very many clothes, and passengers suspected that he was hiding something under them.

“The driver then called the police, who told us to stop the bus and evacuate it,” said Swebus managing director Stefan Carlén.

“He was behaving strangely, and was walking around holding a book – possibly the Koran,” passenger Johan Throsandher told Aftonbladet. Expressen claims that the man was reading the Bible.

Dagens Nyheter reports that the police faked traffic problems in order to allow the bus to stop without the supposed bomber realising what was going on.

At this point, reports DN, the man went into the bus toilet, and was the last to leave the bus. After stepping off the bus, the man “walked or ran away” and disappeared. He was later found by the police.

“We had to be very careful before we arrested him, because we didn’t know what might happen,” said Hilde Böch of Norwegian police to DN.

No bomb has been found, and police say that they currently have “no reasonable grounds to suspect that a criminal offence has been commited.” Böch told DN that they would question the man, and try to find out whether he had a bomb or a gun.

Meanwhile, the passengers on the bus were in for a long delay. According to SvD, police were advising passengers to seek medical help to deal with the distress caused by the events.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet,