No explosives were found after Estonian bus operator Lux Express received a bomb threat against one of its buses travelling from St. Petersburg to Tallinn on Thursday.
At 18:35 EEST on Thursday, Lux Express Customer Service received a phoned-in bomb threat stating that an explosive device was on the company's St. Petersburg-Tallinn bus, spokespeople for Lux Express said on Friday. Customer Service immediately informed the Russian police, the Lux Express bus terminal as well as the driver of the bus.
The bus driver began evacuating passengers five minutes later, and roughly 50 minutes after informing the police, the first unit arrived.
The Russian police conducted a thorough inspection of the replacement vehicle dispatched by Lux Express, and as a result, travel toward Tallinn resumed at 20:40, after permission was granted by the authorities. All passengers arrived in Tallinn at 2:33, approximately two hours and 15 minutes behind schedule.
Contrary to information spreading on social media and in the news that the theat was relayed to the police by passengers, police in Russia have confirmed that the first call placed to them was made by Lux Express Customer Service, spokespeople for the company said.
"The passengers' annoyance with the inconvenience of the situation is understandable, but in this case, Lux Express employees were guided by the orders of Russian officials, and any unauthorised decision to leave passengers onboard the bus or direct them into the replacement bus would have been an unacceptable disregard of these orders," the spokespeople added.
Lux Express is cooperating fully with Russian authorities, and police in Russia have already identified and apprehended the caller.
The company apologised for the inconvenience caused by reasons beyond the carrier's control. Affected passengers' fares will be reimbursed as compensation for the delay.
Editor: Aili Vahtla