Av Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media
RIO DE JANEIRO, August 8, 2016 - Rio 2016 Head of Security Luiz Fernando Correa has confirmed that the official media bus that was attacked on Tuesday night at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was hit by rocks, calling the incident an "act of vandalism" rather than an attack on journalists and the Olympic movement.
News came out on Tuesday night that a media bus on its way back from Deodoro venue cluster towards the Main Press Center was hit by projectiles around 19.30 pm. Two windows were smashed as passangers on board panicked and dropped to the ground.
According to the Rio 2016 Head of Security, initial forensic analysis confirm that there was no gunshot residue or bullet lacerations and that the projectiles that shattered the bus window were rocks. Correa however could not confirm this 100% for the time being.
The initial forensic analysis is set to be published later during the day.
Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada called the incident "unacceptable and worrying", but continued to defend the security measures in place at Rio 2016.
As per Rio 2016 security protocol, the bus driver, confirmed to be a professional driver rather than a volunteer, is said to have continued driving until it reached a police stop, after which police escorted the bus back to the Olympic Park.
Colleague Arthur Zhol from Belarusian media Pressball was one of the foreign journalists on the bus returning to the Main Press Center.
Zhol said that deafening shots were heard as he saw the glass beside him dissolve into cracks and shatter completely. He immediately dropped down and laid on the floor, while the colleagues around him followed his example. The buss did not stop following the shots, but rather drove to the nearest police car, where officers examined the bus. Two windows were completely smashed, while a small hole measuring a couple of millimeters was discovered in one window. No other marks were found on the bus.
American passenger on the media bus Lee Michaelson, a writer for women's basketball outlet and formerly of the US Air Force is convinced the vehicle was hit by gunfire.
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