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Search for answers continues in Barrie bomb investigation

'The detectives are doing what detectives do and that’s investigate, so we will give them the time,' says police official
A remotely operated police robot purposely detonates a bomb fragment at a parking lot at 108 Anne St. N., Wednesday morning in Barrie. No arrests have been announced and the investigation continues.

Barrie police say it could be some time before any new details are released in connection to Wednesday morning’s bomb incident on Anne Street.

“The detectives are doing what detectives do and that’s investigate, so we will give them the time,” Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday on Friday.

Emergency crews were called to a parking lot at 108A Anne St., N., near the bridge over Highway 400, shortly before 3 a.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 27. An improvised explosive device (IED) had been placed around the gas-cap area of a white SUV. The ensuing explosion caused significant damage to the vehicle. 

“The event on Wednesday was all about public safety,” Leon added. “We’ve got to deal with the situation and anything else associated with it, obviously, and we were able to do that. Now the real work begins — the investigation. The why and the how. Those are the questions we need to get answers to.”

Specialized explosives investigators from Ontario Provincial Police, as well as the Barrie Police Service, have undertaken the task of unravelling what happened.

No arrests have been announced and no serious injuries were reported.

The investigation continues.

Timeline of events

After receiving calls from area residents about an explosion at 2:56 a.m., Wednesday, officers cordoned the area around the foot of the Anne Street hill near the bridge over Highway 400.

About 20 people living in two nearby apartment buildings were evacuated around 6 a.m.

Officers later found what they believe was a piece of the original explosive in a nearby garden area. 

At around 8:45 a.m., a shielded robot was used to purposely detonate what appeared to be a cylindrical device in the apartment parking lot, creating a loud explosion. Dust came off the device and the robot was jostled from the explosion. It is believed to have been a fragment from the initial device.  

Around 10 a.m., an officer with the explosive disposal unit could also be seen inspecting other vehicles in the parking lot near Edgehill Drive.

About 30 minutes later, what appeared to be a bomb-sniffing dog was let loose in the parking lot and checked several vehicles.

By the early evening hours, all roads had reopened in the area. 

A remotely navigated bomb-squad robot sits near an officer wearing a protective suit while investiagting a damaged vehicle in Barrie on Wednesday morning. | Kevin Lamb/BarrieToday