The local bus in the university town north of Stockholm was evacuated after one of the passengers alerted the bus driver to “something that looked like a bomb” left behind on a seat.
“It was a battery, wires, duct tape and it smelled of gunpowder. It was like a homemade thing,” the passenger told regional newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) on Wednesday.
“I went up and said there was something that looked like a bomb in the back of the bus and that he should perhaps stop. He then stopped at the next bus stop. Everyone had to leave the bus and he went back and checked and then phoned his boss,” she added.
The street was cordoned off and the national police bomb squad called out to examine the suspicious object, but was just before 11pm able to determine that it was harmless.
“It was a deployed airbag which had been in a bicycle helmet, an inflatable helmet you could say. We don't want to speculate on how it got there. But there was no threat. So we do not yet know if there's going to be a criminal investigation,” Uppsala police spokesperson Christer Nordström told UNT.
Earlier in the day, senior police officer Björn Berglund told the newspaper: “When you don't know what the object is you have to assume that it could be a bomb. We always have to work that way, we can't take chances in these situations.”
Last week a high school in southern Sweden went into lockdown and police were called to deal with an armed man spotted outside the building. It later turned out to be a former student dressed up as a cowboy and on his way to a fancy dress party.