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Hospital research centre evacuated as Winnipeg police bomb unit removes ‘volatile substance’

A research centre at a Winnipeg hospital has been evacuated as the police bomb unit helps remove a ‘volatile substance.’ Police say there is no danger to the general public.

The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) confirmed its bomb unit is at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.

The WPS told CTV News the unit is there to, “assist in removing a volatile substance.”

Const. Claude Chancy, a public information officer with the WPS, was not able to say what the volatile substance is. Police confirmed while the bomb unit is responding, it is not believed the situation involves a bomb.

“Everything right now is under control. Everything’s safe for the general public,” he said.

As a precaution, Chancy said the hospital’s research centre along with its neighbouring MRI facility have been evacuated.

“Everything else as far as hospital operations are continuing as per usual, and there’s no danger to the general public,” Chancy told CTV News.

He said it is not clear how long the evacuation will last, but said police will likely be on scene for a while as the bomb unit conducts a ‘controlled material extraction.’

“Being that it is a potentially volatile substance, they do have to take their time,” Chancy said. “It’s all done very methodically, so it does take some time. At which point in time, there will be a decision made on how this is disposed of.”

Those in the building have been evacuated as a precaution during what police called the controlled material extraction.

CTV News has reached out to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority for more details.

Police say situation similar to U of M evacuation last summer

Chancy said the situation is similar to an evacuation that happened in June 2023 at the University of Manitoba, after a small amount of chemical in a ‘potentially unstable form’ was found in a storage room.

Chancy said in that situation, the police bomb unit was also called in to remove the substance. 

This is a developing story. More to come.

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