(Canadian Press)

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

Police say a warning of a nuclear threat that was broadcast in a downtown Winnipeg neighbourhood was a prank.

The audio recording blasted through Osborne Village around 9:20 p.m. on Sunday and warned that a nuclear attack was occurring against Canada and the United States. It said six missiles were expected to strike in the next 15 to 25 minutes.

“All Canadian residents should seek out a fallout centre immediately,” the recording said in a mechanical-sounding voice.

It warned people to stay away from windows and to put together survival kits.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would address the public shortly, it added.

Const. Jay Murray said police received four calls about the recording before officers arrived and the broadcast stopped.

An investigation determined the audio was from an online video played through a home speaker system.

“This is some jokester who probably thought it would be funny to play this audio and it’s unfortunate,” Murray said. “I don’t think they probably realized the amount of fear and panic they put into some people and the stress on, not only the police system, but other systems as well.”

Ron Schuler, minister responsible for emergency measures, said emergency alerts in Manitoba would be broadcast on radio and television or through a message on mobile phones.

“It is done by proper channels. It’s not done by a rusty van with speakers hanging out the side. It’s not the van down by the river making these announcements,” he said.

There have been false alerts around the world as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged words over the testing of nuclear weapons.

RELATED: Hawaii missile-alert mistake feeds doubt

In January, panic ensued in Hawaii after a false ballistic missile alert was sent out warning people to seek shelter. The employee who sent it was fired from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Only a few days later, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK sent a false emergency alert to subscribers of its mobile app that stated North Korea had launched a missile. The broadcaster quickly sent a retraction and apologized.

On the weekend, the BBC had to issue a statement saying a video that went viral of a BBC journalist warning of thermonuclear war was false.

Murray said Winnipeg police have not encountered a prank like this before, but he predicted it isn’t likely to be the last. There would be serious ramifications for anyone considering a similar stunt, he said

“I can’t imagine if you have someone who thinks this is imminent, what is going thorough their mind, so it’s a matter we take very seriously.”

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Slippery suspect evades RCMP near Clearwater twice in one week

Anyone with information urged to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

Man Tracker Invitational returns to Clearwater

By Jaime Polmateer The fourth annual Man Tracker Invitational is taking place… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke fills North Thompson Valley – people advised to be mindful of their health

Many areas of the province are currently fighting active wildfires, with evacuation… Continue reading

A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

NASA provides a timelapse of smoke covering B.C. from space

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Woman missing after car swept away by mudslide near Cache Creek

A search is now underway for Valerie Morris, who has been missing since the afternoon of August 11.

Most Read