Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Fireworks bring drama to locked-down Davos

By Paul Armstrong (CNN)
Click to play
Small explosion at Davos hotel
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police: A firework exploded at the back entrance of the hotel
  • There are no reports of injuries at hotel close to WEF annual meeting
  • Security already tight, with thousands of troops, police deployed

Davos, Switzerland (CNN) -- It was high drama for a couple of hours on the second day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's stirring defense of the Euro was quickly forgotten as news of a "little explosion" at the back of a nearby hotel filtered through.

All of a sudden, security inside the WEF congress center was ramped up with identity badges under greater scrutiny -- no real surprise, given the number of VIPs in the building.

Fortunately the incident at the hotel -- rumored to be holding a dinner late Thursday hosted by former U.S. President Bill Clinton -- appears to have passed without reports of casualties. Police said a firework had been thrown at the building.

Davos hit by hotel blast

Davos too big and 'superficial'
Davos teen diary: Day 2
RELATED TOPICS

However, this picturesque ski resort is now swarming with security forces, with machine-gun-toting commandos dressed in black ski-masks peering down menacingly from rooftops overlooking the congress center site as police helicopters hover overhead.

Security was already considerable with around 4,000 Swiss troops deployed in the town.

Visitors are met with airport-style x-ray machines at all entrances, followed by electronic scanners which read your identity badge and pull up your profile on a screen. Even much-needed lunchtime supplies have to pass through the x-ray.

Once inside the building, suited WEF officials diligently check ID badges to ensure delegates -- or digital producers for that matter -- don't walk into the wrong areas.

While taking photographs of this extraordinary sealed world I happened to snap one of the entrances. Moments later I was chased by a security man and ordered to delete the offending image from my camera -- he even stood over me while I did as I was told at my laptop like a chastened schoolboy.

But as the terrible events at a Moscow airport this week have shown, tough security measures are understandable and now appear to be the norm, especially at Davos where Fortune 500 CEOs mingle over coffee with heads of state.

Part of complete coverage on
How to be a Davos delegate
The great Davos talking shop is now up and running. So how do you become a Davos delegate?
Davos: Don't forget Africa
While the developed nations drag their feet on inclusive trade agreements with emerging markets, Africa is busy redefining itself.
Davos 'new reality' explainer
Organizers say the theme of this year's Davos forum "Shared Norms for the New Reality," reflect how the world has changed in the last year.
Davos to tackle new reality
The past few Davos meets have been dominated by the economic downturn -- time now to face the new reality.
What to expect at Davos 2011
Want to know where to begin with Davos? CNN's Richard Quest offers a primer on this year's events.
A new reality for UK retirees
With men and women in the west happily living into their 80s and 90s, the impact on health care, pension systems and the jobs market is profound.

Why Davos matters
Davos is a hot-house in the cold of winter where, every now and then, something gets done, says Richard Quest.
Davos founder: Leaders must inspire
World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab is concerned that world leaders have too much on their plate.
 
Quick Job Search