Police say the BMO Vancouver Marathon was delayed Sunday so explosives experts could disable a “suspicious device” found along the race route.
Sgt. Steve Addison says in a news release the incident is “extremely concerning” and it appears the device was strategically placed along the half-marathon path to cause panic or disrupt the event.
But he says bomb technicians with the Emergency Response Team determined the device was not at risk of exploding and did not pose an immediate danger to the public.
The news release says a marathon volunteer spotted the device near Science World around 5 a.m., about two hours before the race was set to begin, and promptly phoned 911.
An investigation is underway and no arrests have been made in the incident that delayed the race by more than one hour.
Sunday’s race marked the 50th anniversary of the event and a return to in-person racing after it was cancelled in 2020 and went virtual in 2021 due to COVID-19.
Addison said he could not provide any information about the device, including its size or how it was made.
“That’s information we’re holding back at this point for investigative reasons,” he said in an email.
No arrests have been made and Addison said he could not speculate on possible charges before a suspect is identified.
Officers deemed it safe for the race to proceed after the device was rendered inert, he said. He did not say how that decision was made or whether there was a search for other devices.
“For safety reasons, we can’t discuss the specific security measures we take to prepare for and execute large-scale events,” Addison said.
—Amy Smart, The Canadian Press