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Sex toy sparks bomb scare and evacuations in German town of Halberstadt

Published 06/04/2016

Police said the 'resonant' quality of the bin magnified the buzzing noise (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP, File photo)
Police said the 'resonant' quality of the bin magnified the buzzing noise (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP, File photo)

When a worker at a German amusement arcade heard a suspicious “ticking and humming” sound coming from a bin in the men’s toilets, she did not hesitate to call police.

The alert in the town of Halberstadt triggered full bomb disposal procedures, seeing more than 90 people evacuated from surrounding buildings and a specialist disposal team dispatched on Tuesday as the area was closed off.

But almost three hours of high-profile security operations came to an abrupt end when explosives officers found the “suspicious object” in question was a discarded sex toy.

Peter Hartmann, a spokesperson for Saxony-Anhalt Police, told The Independent that a 38-year-old woman alerted police shortly after 4pm.

The concerned employee described “strange noises…like ticking and buzzing” emanating from a bin in the men’s toilets, he said, adding: “In these cases there are clear guidelines for police to implement with all associated measures.

“So the amusement arcade in the Strasse des 20. Juli (20 July) was immediately evacuated and the road was closed.

“It was also necessary to evacuate around 90 employees of surrounding business and shops.”

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