PHUKET: A cigarette lighter shaped like a grenade sent patients and medical staff scurrying for cover at a local health center in Phuket today.
Phuket City Police Deputy Superintendent Chao Phomna called in the bomb squad at about 12:40pm after a patient reported seeing a grenade by the front door of the center, named as the Songserm Sukhapharp Hospital.
“We arrived to find an anxious crowd gathered in front of the center,” Lt Col Chao told the Phuket Gazette.
“We sealed off the area and made sure that everybody had been evacuated from the building.”
Lying in the middle of a car tyre laid flat near the main door was the “grenade”.
“Experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit cautiously inspected the object and found that it was a only lighter shaped to look like a grenade,” Col Chao said.
“The people at the center were very relieved.”
However, police are pursuing their investigation into who left the lighter by the door.
“We will review CCTV footage to identify whoever left the lighter there. We would like to question them,” Col Chao said.
On Monday, police in Kathu tracked down and arrested a man after he robbed his local Family Mart convenience store with a lighter shaped to look like a gun, so he could buy some beer (story here).
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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