Police say incidents in downtown Yellowknife and near the city’s airport on Tuesday morning both involved suspicious packages, but were not related.
In both cases, the packages proved to be harmless, RCMP said in a news release shortly before 1pm.
At 9:30am, police were called to a report of a “suspicious box” at an industrial premises off McMillan St, near the Old Airport Road intersection in the vicinity of the city’s airport.
Police said the box was “left behind at the facility by an individual who is believed to have made a comment that the box may have contained an explosive device.”
That comment triggered an evacuation and caused police to call in help from an explosives disposal team based in Alberta.
“The investigation concluded the box was non-suspicious,” RCMP said. “The comment does not appear to have been made with intent. However, comments of this nature have to be taken seriously.
“Under the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone who conveys information they know to be false with intent to injure or alarm any person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.”
Operations at the main airport terminal were not impacted, the territory’s Department of Infrastructure said, with flights continuing to arrive and leave.
However, North-Wright Airways operations manager Kyle Newhook confirmed the police had operation had delayed an incoming flight from Délįne.
Meanwhile, an abandoned suitcase reported next to the Northwestel building, on 52 St and 50 Avenue, resulted in a separate police operation at around 10am.
“The investigation concluded that the suitcase was non-suspicious, the suitcase was removed and regular activity was able to resume in the area,” police said in a statement.
A suitcase sits next to flowers outside the Northwestel building. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
The suitcase, said to be empty, was taken away shortly after 11am. The building was briefly evacuated.
Yellowknife RCMP’s detachment commander, Insp Alexandre Laporte, said: “We take these reports very seriously and we ensured a full and thorough investigation.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of the public while facing disruption in these areas.”
Police said their investigations suggest no link between the two incidents.
Police told pedestrians to walk around this intersection, closing off its eastbound section. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Police and municipal enforcement vehicles outside the Northwestel building on July 30, 2019. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Emelie Peacock and Sarah Pruys contributed reporting.