TOKYO (TR) – Commuters at JR Akihabara Station were evacuated after a bomb disposal squad was deployed to investigate a suspicious object found in a toilet, which turned out to be a fragrance dispenser, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Apr. 23).
Police were called after a cleaner found a suspicious object at a multi-purpose toilet inside the station at around 11 a.m., prompting a brief panic as shoppers were evacuated.
The object, a circuit board with a battery and wiring attached, turned out to be an automatic fragrance dispenser with its circuitry exposed that was taped under a luggage rack. The evacuation was lifted after about two and a half hours.
Police are investigating why the dispenser was attached under the rack.
According to the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 23), the suspicious object enclosed in a plastic case was a device that automatically opens and closes garbage bin lids.
Police believe the false bomb threat was a malicious prank, and are investigating people who entered and left the toilet.
A male worker at a nearby restaurant said he, his colleagues and customers went outside at around 11:30 a.m. after being told by station staff to evacuate because a suspicious object had been found. “Sundays are when we get lots of customers, but what can you do?” the worker said.