Suspicious package closes Credit Union
Update: (5:00 p.m.)
The roads around the Grand Forks Credit Union are open again after RCMP determined that the briefcase left on the bank's doorstep did not contain explosives.
Boundary Detachment investigators reviewed the situation with the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit throughout the day and requested the assistance of a special trained dog unit for bomb detection from Kelowna.
Staff Sergeant Dan Seibel of the Kootenay Boundary detachment said the dog handler and police dog attended Grand Forks and examined the area around the Credit Union and the suspicious brief case. No explosives or explosive devices were located and the area near the financial institution has been re-opened to the public.
Boundary RCMP will continue their investigation in an effort to determine whether or not the brief case was accidently forgotten or intentionally left at the bank.
Update (3:00 p.m.):
The area around the Grand Forks Credit Union remains blocked to traffic and people as the police continue to assess the situation . There has been no additional information on the briefcase, or whether the Vancouver explosive demolition team will be attending.
Early breaking news:
Police cordoned off a 300 foot radius around the Grand Forks Credit Union as they assess a suspicious package left by the bank's doors today.
Shortly after the credit union opened this morning at around 9:20 a.m., a member reported that there was an abandoned briefcase sitting just outside the doors. Management took quick action, contacting the Grand Forks RCMP detachment and evacuating their 37 staff.
"No one is allowed back in the building," explained Angela Soukoroff, manager of marketing and communication. "We're hoping that we'll be able to re-open before the end of the day, but that is unlikely."
RCMP Staff Sergeant Jim Harrison said that the found briefcase appears suspicious and they are in the process of taking the necessary steps to safely deal with it.
"We have consulted with the RCMP explosive demolition unit in Vancouver and we're continuing to see how we're going to deal with this in a safe manner," said Harrison. "The precautions that we've taken are just that - precautions. Sorry for any inconvenience to the public but things like this we just can't take a chance on."
Management staff from the Credit Union remain on site to talk with members about the situation through the day.
The Sentinel will update readers with more information as the day unfolds.