Dutch parliament complex evacuated over bomb threat
This story was updated after the evacuation order was lifted.
A bomb threat in The Hague forced a 45-minute long evacuation of a portion of the Dutch parliamentary complex on Thursday evening, police in the Zuid-Holland city confirmed. The incident was first reported at around 5:15 p.m., and also led to the closure of Het Plein, the popular square just east of Parliament.
"The Binnenhof is currently being evacuated. We are investigating there after a bomb threat," a police spokesperson wrote on social media at about 5:30 p.m. Officers from the Dutch police and the Marechaussee, a branch of the military which helps secure Parliament, were involved in the operation.
The Binnenhof includes the office of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Ministry of General Affairs. It also includes the buildings which house the Eerste Kamer and the Tweede Kamer, the upper and lower houses of Dutch Parliament.
Police began wrapping up the crime scene tape and reopening the area just after 6 p.m. because officers found nothing unusual.
Binnenhof weer vrijgegeven! pic.twitter.com/dGzmJnjcqa— Sam Hagens (@SamHvNL) March 25, 2021
The building of the Tweede Kamer was not cleared out, but the courtyard area was. "Due to precautions at the advice of the police, all entrances to the building of the Tweede Kamer are currently closed," according to the Twitter account for the lower house.
Reporters were waiting outside the Stadhouderskamer to speak with the newly-appointed scouts who will take the lead in trying to form the basis for a new coalition government. The two, Minister Wouter Koolmees and Minister Tamara van Ark, were scheduled to meet with Tweede Kamer Chair Khadija Arib at 4:30 p.m.
The gathered journalists were asked to vacate the area, according to broadcaster Omroep West.