Explosion at Arch 22?

By Lamin Cham

Police and other security forces yesterday poured over the Arch 22 complex at the entrance of the capital to make sense of a loud noise that locals believed was an explosion dead in the night Tuesday.
Eye witnesses who spoke to The Standard narrated a huge and deafening noise that shocked and woke people around the area, some of whom came out curious to know the source and nature of the noise.

”It must have been around 1 am. It was a loud noise. Everyone sitting with me rushed towards the Arch wanting to know. We saw that some parts of the pavilion have broken particles from bricks. No one knew exactly what happened but the sound really looked like an explosion,” a resident of Lancaster Street said yesterday.
The Standard contacted the police over the matter and spokesman Inspector Foday Conta confirmed the unusual noise that must have caused confusion to the people nearby.

”Actually what our preliminary investigations have discovered so far is that the noise was not caused by an explosive device as no trace of a bomb, grenade or anything of that sort was found anywhere near the scene.
“What appeared to be the case is that the concrete under the pavilion gave way presumably under pressure from the heavy traffic that pass under the structure since the ban on traffic there was lifted,” Conta said.
He further disclosed that the noise from cascading masonry, couple with the friction and cranking of iron rods all combined to create the noise that rend the air that Tuesday night.

”We even managed to bring the contractor who built the Pavilion to the site for his opinion on the matter to help our investigations. So far at this stage of the investigations, we have not got any evidence to show that an explosion caused the noise. In any case we are still investigating,” Inspector Conta said.
Last night The Standard also heard views from the public who demand to know more details and suggested that initial restrictions on vehicles passing through the Arch should be restored.
“At least that one act by the dictator Jammeh seems to make sense,” another man jokingly said.

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