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Police search for caller behind hospital bomb hoax

UPDATE 4PM: The caller behind a hoax bomb threat that sent the Toowoomba Hospital into lockdown today is under investigation by police.

Police received the call about 5.30am that an explosive device had been hidden inside the hospital which triggered a code purple, leaving staff on their way to work stranded outside.

Darling Downs Acting Inspector Steve Stewart said police responded to the threat and liaised with hospital security.

It is understood three specially trained explosives officers focused their search on a particular ward.

"The caller stated there was a device situated at the hospital," he said.

"Police attended and as a result, with hospital security, the hospital emergency plans implemented a lockdown of the area.

"Three officers specially trained in the detection of improvised explosive devices were used to conduct the sweep of the wards.

"(The search was) primarily in one level which is where the device was alleged to have been located."

Staff gather outside the Toowoomba Hospital after a bomb threat was received this morning.
Staff gather outside the Toowoomba Hospital after a bomb threat was received this morning.
Act. Insp. Stewart said those officers declared the area clear of any threat about 8am.

"Inquiries are continuing with respect to the identity of the caller," he said.

Toowoomba Hospital general manager Dr Peter Gillies said operations returned to normal about 8.15am.

"The hospital's emergency preparedness plan was enacted to ensure all people on site were safe," he said.

"Some services were temporarily suspended until the situation was resolved.

"The Queensland Police Service has advised its investigations have concluded and there is no safety threat to patients, visitors or staff at the hospital."

12.30PM: Operations have returned to normal at the Toowoomba Hospital after a bomb threat hoax was phoned in this morning.

Staff were evacuated and marshalled outside as police investigated the matter.

After a thorough search of the premises, staff were permitted back inside and operations returned to normal.

Toowoomba Hospital general manager Dr Peter Gillies said staff followed all emergency policies and procedures at the time.

"Toowoomba Hospital resumed normal operations around 8.15am after a police emergency situation earlier today," he said.

"The hospital's emergency preparedness plan was enacted to ensure all people on site were safe.

"Some services were temporarily suspended until the situation was resolved.

"The Queensland Police Service has advised its investigations have conclude and there is no safety threat to patients, visitors or staff at the hospital."

8.25AM: Staff are being allowed back into the Toowoomba Hospital an hour after a bomb threat was made.

Police searched the building after the threat was received about 7.30am.

A spokeswoman said hospital operations and staffing duties were back to normal after the threat was cleared.

7.45AM: An emergency situation is unfolding at the Toowoomba Hospital after a bomb threat was received this morning.

Police are investigating the threat which was made about 7.30am.

Staff arriving for work are being refused entry to the hospital.

Police are investigating. No patients have been evacuated.

Topics:  bomb threat emergency services police toowoomba toowoomba hospital


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