After the Madrid train bombing of March 2004, authorities had a “better safe than sorry” attitude after a belt buckle, shaped like a grenade, led to bomb scares in Barcelona and Madrid today. Both train stations were evacuated after the object was spotted on a security scanner inside a suitcase. Believing this might be an explosive device, Spanish authorities instantly took action to protect the public.

After the suitcase was tested by the Catalan police’s bomb disposal squad, the bomb scare was over.

Madrid and Barcelona stations evacuated over belt buckle

Barcelona authorities evacuated two high-speed trains in the central station of Barcelona at 9 AM on Wednesday in order for police to search for the grenade-shaped object detected by a security scanner in a suitcase.

As reported by the Independent, following the security alert and at around 10 AM, Madrid’s Atocha Station was evacuated and shut down completely. Atocha was the site of the deadly train bombings in March 2004, where 193 people died and 2,000 more were injured.

Bomb alert cancelled and stations reopened.

Once the suitcase was tracked down, Tedax, the Catalan police bomb disposal team found the grenade-shaped object to represent no danger to the public. A spokesperson for Spain’s National Police confirmed that the buckle had been found in a woman’s suitcase, who was travelling on the AVE high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid.

Sants Station was then reopened, followed shortly afterward by Atocha Station in Madrid.

As reported by The New York Post, the National Police sent out a brief tweet to say everything had returned to normal after the false alarm.

The alert had initially been sounded once it was realised the suitcase was on its way to Madrid. When Atocha Station was evacuated, commuters said they were told to run out into the streets until the false alarm was confirmed by authorities and the station was reopened just under an hour later.

2004 Madrid bombing

The Madrid bombing in March 2004 was one of the deadliest militant attacks in Spain’s history.

According to the police, the bombing was launched by Islamist militants who had been inspired by Al Qaeda and had been sold the explosives by Spanish miners, who were later arrested.

After 193 people were killed and over 2,000 injured, around 11 million Spaniards took to the streets all over Spain, demanding the government tell the truth about the bombings and carried signs saying "Basta Ya!" (Enough is enough!). They also demanded Spanish soldiers be withdrawn from Iraq.

The bombing is also believed to have had an effect on the country’s voting around that time, where the Spanish [VIDEO] Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) took over the government from the Popular Party (PP).