Police confirm grenade threat in Savai’i
The Police have sealed off certain parts of Salelologa Savai’i due to the threat of a grenade.
The threat was confirmed by the Police on Monday night in a media statement they issued.
“The public is hereby advised that the Ministry of Police (M.O.P.) have sealed off certain areas of Salelologa due to a grenade threat identified this morning,” the statement reads.
“The safety of the general public is of our utmost concern and we ask members of the public to refrain from accessing this site until it is cleared and declared safe.”
The statement followed the decision by the Police to seal off the area in response to a report of an alleged suspicious package discovered at one of the shipping offices there.
Speaking from Savai'i, a member of the public, Leata Samasoni, told the Samoa Observer the incident has caused uncertainty among people on the island.
“Everyone was diverted to take the other route while Police blocked the road around the afternoon today,” she told the Samoa Observer.
Leata added there was a lot of speculations on social media about the road blockade.
“It’s scary to think about what is happening and what the people are spreading around," she said. “No one is certain of why Police blocked the road but it is quite disturbing and scary that it is happening in Savai’i.
“It is always quiet on this side of the island and the attention the incident is getting is causing uncertainty amongst us living here.”
A Police officer, who is not authorized to speak to the media, said Police responded to the report of a suspicious package discovered at a shipping agency office.
“Police’s initial action is to clear the area for precautionary measures,” said the Police officer.
“Nothing is confirmed at the moment but the area has been cleared for safety reasons for the traveling public while investigation is underway.”
Pacific Forum Line's Samoa Manager, Teuila Eteuati, was asked for a comment about the incident in Savai'i.
In response, Ms. Eteuati said she has been advised about the incident in Savai'i involving their agent on the island, Seki Works Ltd.
Contacted for a comment, Seki Works responded in a statement.
It reads: “We are aware of an incident that took place at Seki a Savaii in Salelologa. We were also notified that the consignment did not come through Seki Works. For more information, please contact the Managing Director of Seki a Savaii, Leota Kuki Retzlaff. Thank you.”
It was not possible to get a comment from Leota at press time.
In the meantime, the Police is asking members of the public to take extra care.
“The Ministry of Police advise members of the Public travelling from Fa’asaleleaga, Itu o Tane and Itu Salega for the Salelologa market and Salelologa wharf that the access road in front of the Bluebird Mall and LTA has been sealed off. We ask users especially drivers to use the alternative route across the Apia Lua Gas Station to access Salelologa market and wharf.
“M.O.P. extends its sincere appreciation to the public for the on-going support and assistance.”