A mother pushed an empty stroller along the mush of snow and ice on Wednesday afternoon, exiting the slippery schoolyard of the International School of Helsinki, located in Ruoholahti. Her son, 6, was feeling sick but he kept walking bravely while holding hands with her momma.
On Tuesday morning at 8:53, the school was evacuated after it received a threat call, which threatened the premises with explosives.
During the morning bomb threats were received by six schools in central Paris and 14 schools in Britain as well.
Fortunately, all threats were hoaxes.
After a few hours of police investigations, the students were able to continue their school day as scheduled in Ruoholahti.
The boy coughed.
“He was feeling sick already yesterday, so he wasn’t in school when it was evacuated,” the mother said.
The mother and son wished to stay anonymous but she said that they had moved from India to Finland in September.
“Of course I am afraid of what could happen to the children but I believe in fate,” she said. “What is meant to happen, will happen.”
The International School of Helsinki is a private co-educational day school serving the local and international expatriate community. The student body consists of pupils aged 3 to 12. The school educates about 360 children of more than 40 different nationalities.
Apparently, similar bomb threats were received a week ago by the British International School of Stockholm in Sweden, the British International School of Stavanger in Norway, and the British International School of Budapest in Hungary.
“The message from the caller was that there were bombs out in the schoolyard around the school,” police spokesman Einar Johannesen told the Norwegian daily, Stavanger Aftenblad.
The operator behind the Tuesday’s threats in Britain and Paris, is suspected to be a Putin-sympathising Twitter group Evacuators 2K16, which says it supports the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. One of the tweets included a hashtag #SwatTheWorld, a suspected reference to “swatting attacks”, where emergency services are called to a particular location under false claims. The Twitter account has since been banned.
The police in Finland are investigating the crime as an unlawful threat.