Loud Blast Heard Near Rio Olympics Cycling Course Was Controlled Explosion

Officials say the destroyed bag may have belonged to a homeless man, but protocol requires any unattended objects to be destroyed.

Brazilian security forces stand guard outside the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5, 2016.
Adrian Dennis, AFP

An anti-bomb squad at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro detonated an unattended backpack near the end of the cycling course on Saturday, a spokeswoman for the public security department said.

Officials expect the bag may have belonged to a homeless man, but protocol requires any unattended objects to be destroyed, she said. The controlled blast occurred at 1:45 P.M. local time, the spokeswoman said. 

The controlled explosion caused a loud blast that was heard near the finishing line of the men's cycling road race, a Reuters witness said.

In recent days, bomb squad members have detonated a number of unattended bags in controlled explosions in Rio.