Published On : Sat, Aug 6th, 2016

Rio Olympics 2016: Explosion heard at finish line of cycling race

road-race-startA loud blast was heard near the finishing line of the men’s cycling road race at the Rio Olympics on Saturday, media reported.

The cannon fire-like noise occurred around 1:30pm local time and could not be missed from the press centre atop Forte de Copacabana where the 237.5km cycling event is due to finish later this afternoon.

Television viewers instantly started commenting online about the sound that was clearly audible in the broadcast of the picturesque event.

But there were no signs of panic or injuries and the race continued, a Reuters witness said.

Minutes later, a number of journalists in Rio de Janeiro took to Twitter to confirm that the bang was caused by a controlled explosion carried out by the Brazilian anti-bomb squad, with the riders still more than 70km away.

The BBC’s Andrew Cropper later confirmed: “Security forces telling us on ground they exploded a suspect bag.

“Area is just behind spectator seating after finish line of road race at Copacabana beach.”

In recent days, bomb squad members have detonated a number of unattended bags in controlled explosions in Rio.

Meanwhile a bullet has been fired at a press conference room at the equestrian centre at the Rio Olympics, landing inside the building, a New Zealand Olympic Committee spokeswoman says.

No one was hurt when a single bullet landed on the floor of the press room in Deodoro.

NZOC communications manager Ashley Abbott said members of the New Zealand team at the venue were being contacted to inform them of the incident.

Eventers Shane Rose, Chris Burton, Sam Griffiths and Stuart Tinney were competing at the venue on Saturday.

Abbott said media had been advised by a police officer assigned to the team to gather in a workroom to await further advice.

Details were sketchy, she added.