Categorized | National News

US Embassy Evacuated Fire Alarm Triggered

Workers and visitors at the United States Embassy headquarters on Queen Street as well as those in a few surrounding offices had to be evacuated yesterday after a fire alarm in the embassy went off.

U S Charge d’Affaires John Dinkleman said it was just around 11:45 a.m. that the alarm was triggered.

“The staff and all visitors to the embassy were immediately and effectively evacuated and accounted for,” he said. “Shortly thereafter our colleagues from the Royal Bahamas Police Force Fire Division arrived and in coordination with embassy officials on the scene, confirmed that the building was safe and ready to be reentered by all employees.

News circulated that there was a bomb scare.

“No this was a fire drill, one for which we prepare far too often as someone is in charge of setting off the alarm and we all orderly and correctly register once we’ve gotten out of the building. Similar to what everyone does in elementary and high school throughout their lives,” Mr. Dinkleman added.

Embassy officials could not say what triggered the fire alarm system but did note that they were investigating the matter.

Dinkleman said visa services were not really impacted as the vast majority of them had already been processed by that time and only a few were outstanding.

“We anticipate that all visa services will be up and running tomorrow [Friday] and all those who have appointments are more than welcomed to come to the embassy at their normal appointed time.”

When our newsteam arrived on the scene, firefighters, police and embassy security staff combed the area, blocking access to the building.

Workers from the Embassy as well as the neighbouring Winterbotham Place building were sitting across the street at the Hilton Hotel awaiting clearance.

One worker told us U S Embassy workers flew into their offices telling others to leave the building immediately.

Fire Services Director Superintendent Walter Evans said action was taken as a precautionary measure.

“When the call went down there were several businesses in the nearby vicinity that were evacuated for precautionary purposes and it was as a result of the concern with what we saw happening with the U S Embassy,” Supt. Evans said.

“It was just precautionary measure that the evacuation took place.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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