Moonee Ponds: Police respond to bomb threat in inner-city Melbourne suburb

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Trams were diverted and police blocked off streets following a reported bomb threat in an inner-Melbourne suburb, which turned out to be a hoax.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said authorities were alerted to reports of a suspected device on Saturday afternoon, with officers from the Bomb Response Unit attending the scene at Ascot Vale Rd in Moonee Ponds.

Photos from the scene showed a bomb disposal robot, and officers in full protective gear.

The area was later deemed safe from around 4pm.

Photos shared on social media, questioned why there were police “everywhere”.

During the operation a 260m stretch of Ascot Vale Rd was closed between Moonee Ponds Junction, and Gladstone St.

The Route 59 tram was stopped between Stop 27 Essendon Tram Depot and Stop 41 Essendon Station, while the Route 82 tram was diverted via union Rd.

The RTE 477 bus was also diverted to Buckley St, Pascoe Vale Rd and Fletcher St for about two-and-a-half hours.

In August 2017, a similar scare caused traffic chaos for about four hours, after a bus driver alerted police of a suspicious package on his bus.

Authorities deployed a bomb disposal robot to investigate the package, however the scene was declared safe following a large-scale police operation.

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