Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall reopens after evacuation

Dozens of security officers helped with crowd control, at one point warning the crowds of people gathered at the mall’s main entrance to stand farther back, at about 7.15pm.

The mall was evacuated at about 6.15pm and about three fire trucks, four police patrol cars, one explosive ordinance disposal unit team, one K-9 unit and one ambulance were seen parked near the main entrance. Photo: The National staff
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ABU DHABI // Marina Mall has reopened after thousands of shoppers and retail workers were ordered to evacuate on Tuesday as police, firefighters, search dogs and bomb inspectors searched the premises.

The mall was evacuated at about 6.15pm and about three fire trucks, four police patrol cars, one explosive ordinance disposal unit team, one K-9 unit and one ambulance were seen parked near the main entrance.

Dozens of security officers helped with crowd control, at one point warning the crowds of people gathered at the mall’s main entrance to stand farther back, at about 7.15pm. At 7.40pm, the fire trucks left and a gas emergency response vehicle arrived.

Most people gathered at the far edge of the car park or across the street, by the marina area, watching from a distance as investigators searched the premises.

Public buses continued to operate as normal, picking up and dropping off passengers at the mall’s main entrance throughout the ordeal, and until about 7.30pm, the ferris wheel was still in operation.

E I, a restaurant employee, said that when she arrived for her 7pm shift, security wouldn’t allow her to enter. She sat on the grass across from the car park along with dozens of other mall workers waiting for instructions about whether they could return for their shifts.

“I don’t know what time they let us go inside,” said the 20-year-old Filipina. “They want us to be safe. If we are not safe, they won’t let us go inside. But that’s a good thing, because we don’t know.”

By 7.50pm, someone whistled and a man waved some people toward the mall, gesturing that it had reopened. As shoppers and employees walked through the front door, they passed the explosive ordinance disposal vehicle and some watched as the robot was wheeled into the back of the truck.

Abu Dhabi Police and Marina Mall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

rpennington@thenational.ae