“If the bomb had exploded, it would have caused many casualties,” a high ranking police officer told Ynet on Thursday regarding an incident which took place on Bograshov St. in Tel Aviv this week.
It might have been the string of terror attacks or the stormy weather that turned attention away from the drama that took place in the center of Tel Aviv last week.
The incident occurred on Tuesday, at the corner of Bograshov and Ben Yehuda Streets – one of the busier parts of the city during the afternoon hours. A black trash can instantly became the Yarkon District Police’s worst nightmare: A possible explosion in an area packed with pedestrians and cars. A citizen who intended to throw out his trash opened the can, and to his horror found a gas canister wrapped in black electrical tape.
The man immediately called police, who wasted no time in dispatching large numbers of police officers - mainly due to the tense security situation. An initial examination immediately revealed that this was more than just another suspicious object and could potentially explode. In a rare move, the Yarkon District Police commander ordered all nearby streets closed as a precaution.
Bomb technicians who arrived at the scene knew that the danger was real, and a robot was dispatched to investigate the object. The examination increased the technician’s suspicions after the robot removed the gas canister and found that it had been seated on small plastic bottles full of accelerants, as well as a box full of nails and pesticides.
An in-depth investigation revealed that the explosive materials had no trigger mechanism, which would be needed to cause an explosion. According to police assessments and witness testimonies, the event was likely of a criminal nature; however the identity of the intended target is still unclear.
Witness attested to seeing an unknown individual push the trash can 10 meters from its original location hours before the incident, and it is likely that the individual had placed the explosive materials in the bin. Police have obtained CCTV footage from the street, and are currently conducting a manhunt in an attempt to locate the man.
“Only a crazy person could think of placing a bomb of this type on such a busy street,” a Tel Aviv District police officer said. “The can would not have exploded without the trigger, but it is impossible to know whether the trigger was meant to be connected later on. Either way, this was a very lucky incident,” he concluded.