Dog sniffs out wrong object: It’s face powder, not a bomb

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A member of the Philippine coastguard K-9 unit strokes his dog as they march during a testimonial parade ceremony. AFP FILE PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

MANILA, Philippines—It’s a bad judgement call of a bomb-sniffing dog that forced the evacuation of a building in Eastwood Libis, Quezon City Thursday morning, an ordnance official said.

Police were alerted around 7:40 a.m. about a suspected bomb after a roving security dog on the eight floor of 1800 building at Orchard Road stopped at an unattended backpack and sat there three times, a signal that it has smelled an explosive device, Inspector Noel Sublay, Quezon City Explosive and Ordnance chief, said.

Occupants of the building were then ordered to evacuate as authorities cordoned off the area.

But when bomb experts inspected the backpack no explosive device was found, only some personal belongings like face powder and alcohol, Sublay said.

Director Leonardo Espina, National Capital Region Police Office chief, identified the owner of the backpack as Anthony Serenio, an employee of IBM Eastwood.

“He stated that he just left the bag for a while to go to the comfort room,” Espina said in a text advisory.

Espina said he has ordered an investigation into the incident to find out if it is connected to a bomb hoax at the branch of IBM in Technohub, Quezon City last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, as a result of the snafu, the canine and other security dogs of the agency serving the building would have to be retrained in bomb sniffing, Sublay said.

Originally posted at 12:51 p.m.

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