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Toronto safety drill provides inadvertent test

  • Story Highlights
  • Police received report of armed men storming adult education center at 10:47 a.m.
  • In response, officers blocked off traffic, set up nearby command center
  • Upon entry, police discover that school officials were conducting a safety drill
  • Officers were skeptical of call, but opted to be "safe rather than sorry," constable says
By Mythili Rao
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(CNN) -- It was just a drill. But at first glance, it looked a lot like a possible terror attack.

Police in Toronto, Ontario, received a call at 10:47 a.m. reporting that several armed men had entered the Bickford Centre, an adult education center where adult literacy training and other courses are held, Police Constable Tony Vella said.

Officers responded to the building and blocked off traffic on surrounding streets and the center itself.

Concerned for "the safety of everyone involved in the case," Vella said, officers set up a nearby command center and scoured the building for the suspects.

On the scene, police soon discovered that the "threat" was nothing more than a training exercise; the reported suspects had simply been participating in a safety drill.

"School officials were conducting a drill but did not inform anyone else," Vella said. "The fortunate thing is that nobody was hurt."

Vella said officers had initially maintained a degree of skepticism regarding the legitimacy of the call.

"But obviously we're going to be safe rather than sorry," he said.

Calls to the Bickford Centre from CNN were not immediately returned.

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