Over 30,000 pilgrims safe after bomb scare at Lourdes

Catholic pilgrims were evacuated from the Marian Shrine at Lourdes yesterday on the Feast of the Assumption following a bomb scare that turned out to be a hoax.

A Church spokesman said that police had received a telephoned was received announcing that four bombs were going to go off that afternoon, one of the busiest day for the shrine marking when Mary the mother of Jesus rose up to Heaven.

The evacuation of Lourdes, which took place after the two main Masses in the morning and just before the midday Mass, included many sick and handicapped pilgrims. While no Diocesan pilgrimage groups from Scotland were at Lourdes at the time, British and Irish pilgrims are thought to have been amongst among those evacuated.

French Police Police allowed the shrine to reopen last night after a search by bomb disposal teams of buildings and key areas.

“Somebody wanted to cause as much disruption as possible to people already suffering illness and handicaps,” a police spokesman said.

Pierre Adias, a spokesman for the Lourdes shrine, said they had ‘no idea’ who was behind the hoax.

“Bomb scares are not something you associate with Lourdes,” he said.


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