🇦🇺 Bomb scare as memorial to Bourke Street victims is removed in Melbourne

Australia: An emotional Melbourne saw the emormous memorial of flowers, letters, notes, toys and candles, dismantled in an almost ritual process today. 

Part of the City’s grieving process, the flowers are to shredded and placed on a victim’s of crime garden. Other items are being retained and a more permanent memorial may be erected.

Sadly, during the process, a suspicious item was located. Police evacuated the sourounding area and the bomb disposal unit is still at the site, but the event will no doubt further traumatise nervous CBD workers and Victorians in general.

Local media covering the dismantling of the shrine first tweeted about the drama. 

12:52pm – BREAKING: Police are clearing Bourke St Mall after finding a suspicious package within the shrine. More to come. #9News

Victoria Police later tweeted:

1:10pm – Police are currently at Bourke Street Mall conducting safety checks at the makeshift memorial. Elizabeth Street is closed… (1/3)

…between Lt. Bourke Street & Lt. Collins Street to all traffic & pedestrians while this takes place. Police are asking the public… (2/3)

…to avoid the area. The Bomb Response Unit is now at the scene. (3/3)

1:34 pm – The Bomb Response Unit has conducted safety checks at the makeshift memorial in the Bourke Street Mall. The area is deemed safe.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne announced details of the removal yesterday. Late last night Victoria Police also confirmed that a sixth person has died following the incident that took place in the Melbourne CBD on 20 January, 2017

Those who died were all aged under 35 years:10-year-old girl, 

  • 25-year-old man, 
  • 33-year-old man, 
  • 32-year-old woman,
  • 3-month-old baby boy, and
  • 33-year-old woman

The last victim, a 33-year-old Blackburn South woman, died in hospital just before 7.30pm last night.

Police revealed that Melbourne hospitals treated 37 other people injured during the incident, a total of 44 people requiring hospitalisation. Nine patients remain in hospital, one critical.

A 26-year-old Windsor man has been charged with five counts of murder with other charges pending.

Police encouraged anyone who witnessed the event or who has information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at http://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

If you witnessed events at Bourke St or just need support, please call:

  • Victim’s Support Helpline on 1800 819 817
  • Road Trauma Support Services Vic on 1300 367 797
  • Lifeline 14 11 13
  • Beyondblue 1300 22 4636

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