Tense moments prevailed at Mambalam railway station on Sunday after an explosive-like substance was found in a dustbin there.

The incident happened around 11.30 a.m. when the station was crowded with T. Nagar shoppers.

Govindammal and her sister Krishnaveni, members of the railway station cleaning staff, found the suspicious-looking object.

“We found a pipe-like object while emptying a garbage bin near the Railway Protection Force (RPF) office on platform 2,” said Krishnaveni.

They took it to the station master. “She asked to us to take it to the RPF. There was a red tape around the pipe and a thread hanging from the end. I got scared,” said Krishnaveni, who has been working at the station for a few months now.

RPF personnel alerted the bomb disposal squad and they reached the station and inspected the object. “It was hollow and there was no explosive substance. It was 1.15 feet in length. We suspect it was some model used in a cracker shop,” said a senior RPF officer.

Though it was not a real explosive, officials said they did not want to take any chances. They scanned the station premises. “It could be an exercise to test the police as December 6, the Babri Masjid attack anniversary, is just round the corner,” a police officer said.

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