News State Victoria News Commuter chaos as second bomb scare closes Melbourne CBD intersection

Commuter chaos as second bomb scare closes Melbourne CBD intersection

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The man was found unresponsive in the back of a police van. Photo: Facebook/Victoria Police
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A second bomb scare near the City of Melbourne offices has created peak-hour chaos for commuters on Wednesday afternoon.

A small section of Swanston Street between Collins Street and Bourke Street was closed by police just before 5pm after a large bag was left unattended in the middle of the footpath on Little Collins Street.

Nearby office buildings were evacuated as Victoria Police’s bomb squad carried out a safety check.

Little Collins Street was also closed.

No trams are running between Melbourne Central and Collins Street.

Yarra Trams is asking commuters to consider City Loop trains or Elizabeth Street trams as an alternative in the CBD.

It tweeted “Due to an emergency services request: – Due to an emergency services request: – Route 1 trams divert via La Trobe St, William St, & Kings Way between Stop 7 RMIT University & Stop 22 Dorcas St. – All other Swanston St trams run in sections, with no trams between Stop 8 Melbourne Central Station & Stop 11 Collins St.”

VicTraffic also advised commuters travelling through the city to use alternative routes, such as Collins, Bourke or La Trobe streets, as delays remain.

Earlier, a bomb scare closed a busy intersection for more than two hours on Wednesday afternoon.

Victoria Police said Lonsdale Street, between Cohen Place and Exhibition Street, was closed to all traffic and the bomb squad called in just before 2pm (ADST).

There were reports on social media that an unattended bag had prompted the investigation. Pictures from the Nine Network showed a bomb squad robot approaching a black briefcase on the footpath.

Workers in nearby office buildings reported being evacuated, while police urged motorists and pedestrians to avoid the area.

The area was declared clear and the street re-opened at 4pm – just in time for the afternoon peak.

Wednesday’s scare came just a few weeks after a similar incident in busy North Melbourne led to businesses being evacuated and a citizens’ arrest of a man.

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