It was Sunday afternoon around dinnertime on Aug. 18 when I got a text. There had been a bomb threat at the CP Rail yard in Revelstoke, it said. (It even went on to warn of an active shooter at the rail yard, something that didn’t happen.) It warned not to go outside — the person who sent it was staying indoors.
I drove down to the CP Rail yard in Revelstoke. Nothing was going on. I drove past the Revelstoke RCMP detachment; it was not a hive of activity on Sunday evening. I left it at that — a lot of news tips turn out to be duds.
Then the Revelstoke Review published a story on Aug. 21 saying there had been a bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke. However, the headline said the threat was “unsubstantiated.” Later the story said the report of a bomb threat was “erroneous.” So, was there a bomb threat or not?
The Revelstoke RCMP say the that CP Rail police are investigating the matter. They say the RCMP did “thorough checks and determined the threats to be made through a Google phone number.” They said there was no bomb. They referred us to CP Police.
I contacted the CP Police Service, but were referred to the spokesperson who handles all media inquiries, including non-police related matters. I requested to talk on the phone, but CP Rail spokesperson Salem Woodrow emailed a brief statement instead.
“CP Police received a report of suspicious activity around the railroad in Revelstoke on August 18,” she wrote in the two-sentence statement. “CP Police and Revelstoke RCMP investigated and determined the report was erroneous.”
After receiving statements from CP Rail and the Revelstoke RCMP, it was still unclear what happened. Did someone make a threat? Did someone report something that looked suspicious but turned out to be nothing? Or something else?
I emailed both police organizations seeking clarification, and left two phone messages with Salem Woodrow at CP Rail.
“Thanks for the response,” I wrote. “However, the situation remains unclear. RCMP said they traced the call to a Google phone. Salem is saying CP Police and RCMP investigated and determined the report was erroneous. I don’t understand what “erroneous” means. There was no bomb threat? I have until 5 p.m. to speak with anyone who is available.”
Neither police service took the opportunity to clarify the situation.
“CP has no further comment to add,” wrote Woodrow in an email.
“Nor do we,” replied Cpl. Thomas Blakney of the Revelstoke RCMP replied in an email.
Was there a threat, or did someone erroneously report what they thought was a threat? Or something else? At this point, it’s unclear what happened.
If you have further information on this incident, please contact the Revelstoke Mountaineer at firstname.lastname@example.org.