Update: Bomb threat shuts down Windsor-Detroit Tunnel

by Array

Windsor, Ontario: The bomb threat appears to be a hoax.

The tunnel under the Detroit River that links Detroit and Windsor is scheduled to re-open after police from the US and Canada spent the afternoon searching the closed down tunnel looking for a bomb.

News of the the reopening came in a Tweet from the Windsor Police.

“WPS TRAFFIC UPDATE: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has been fully inspected by police, and will re-open at 5pm today,” it read.

The tunnel was closed early in the afternoon after a bomb threat was called into the tunnel offices.

A Twitter posting put out by the Windsor Police at 1:20 pm EDT described the situation in the following manner:

“Detroit–Windsor Tunnel is currently closed to traffic after a non-specific, anonymous bomb threat was received. Find alternate routes.”

In a follow-up tweet posted about two hours later the department gave an update of the situation.

“Police from Windsor & Detroit are inspecting the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. WPS Detectives and Forensic Ident officers at scene as well.”

Detroit Windsor Tunnel chief executive Neal Belitsky says the tunnel was closed after the threat was called in on the Canadian side. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, one report says the call came from a pay phone.

Given the dynamic nature of the situation, full details are not yet available, but the CBC is reporting that a flat-bed truck entered the closed tunnel and exited carrying a vehicle. (Later in the afternoon, a police spokesman answering questions from reporters said the car that was carried way on the flat-bed was nothing more than broken down vehicle, and had nothing to do with the call about the bomb.)

The CBC also report that law enforcement officials were stopping boats and watercraft on a section of the Detroit River, a fact that was confirmed in a Tweet by the public relations department of the Michigan State Police, which said “RT @michemhs: Coast Guard enforcing safety zone 1000 yards north & south of ‪#Detroit-Windsor Tunnel pending investigation of bomb threat….”

While the bridge was shut down, vehicle traffic was diverted to the Ambassador Bridge.

About 4.5 million cars used the 82-year-old underwater tunnel in 2011. It stretches about 1.5km beneath the Detroit River, between downtown Windsor and downtown Detroit.

MM&D will be following this story and will be posting updates as they become available.