Apple Tree Creek Hotel evacuated after bomb hoax prank call
"THERE'S a bomb under the hotel - it's going to go off at 7 o'clock."
They are the chilling words Childers Sergeant Geoff Fay recalls hearing from an anonymous caller from a public phone in Maryborough on Saturday afternoon.
The time was 5.20pm and there was only an hour and 40 minutes until the bomb was reportedly to detonate underneath the Apple Tree Creek Hotel.
The hotel was full of patrons who rolled in about 5pm after the Consolidated Bikers Association 2015 Rebel FM Pigs Arse Poker Run.
Sgt Fay said police sprang into action.
"We had to evacuate the whole hotel, close the highway and do a search of the hotel by 7pm," he said.
A bomb technician was called in from Bundaberg and scoured the building but Sgt Fay said no bomb was found.
"We did a basic search of the hotel before 7 o'clock, we couldn't find any suspicious items," he said.
Sgt Fay said they had no other options.
"We sat back at 7pm and waited," he said.
As the time ticked over to 7pm there was silence.
Sgt Fay said they continued to wait.
"For precautionary reasons we waited until about 7.30pm," he said.
"Then when it was deemed safe, we let everyone back in, we let the patrons back into the hotel and reopened the highway."
Sgt Fay said some decided to head home but others stayed on and went back into the hotel.
An investigation into the hoax continues.
"It was made from a public phone which makes it more difficult," Sgt Fay said.
"But we've got certain things we're following up to try and identify who made the call.
If you were near Boys Ave in Maryborough about 5.20pm on Saturday or have any information that may help police, phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.