Hundreds of workers were evacuated from Berri Estates winery in the Riverland yesterday following a bomb threat.
Police set up traffic blocks on surrounding roads at the height of the drama.
“Accolade Wines is currently responding to an anonymous threat that was received,” a spokesperson told the Murray Pioneer.
“Our highest priority is the safety of our employees and all staff on site are safe and accounted for.
“The company is cooperating with the South Australian Police to resolve the issue.”
A pair of Adelaide contractors told the Murray Pioneer the evacuation occurred at around 11.30am. “We were told the alleged bomb was meant to go off at 1.42pm,” the contractor said.
“But as you can see it hasn’t gone off… we aren’t too worried about it.”
The second contractor claimed the bomb threat was a false alarm. “There’s a few jokes being thrown around and we think it’s a hoax, so no one seems too panicked,” he said.
“All the winery’s staff were evacuated to a safe zone alongside a nearby furniture store. We’re heading back to the evacuation zone now to get an update of what’s going on.”
SA Police confirmed to the Murray Pioneer that a bomb threat had been received. “Police have attended but nothing has been found,” a SAPOL spokesperson said.
“It is our policy not to report on such incidents, as we do not want to encourage copycat behaviour.”
Accolade is officially opening its $40 million bottling facility at Glossop tomorrow.
The Accolade website says Berri Estates is the largest grape processor in the Southern Hemisphere, crushing about 220,000 tonnes of grapes a year.
“The facility exports over 100 million litres of wine around the world annually and over six and a half million litres of that wine is delivered to the UK every month,” the site says.
“Berri Estates employs 265 permanent staff and up to 415 individuals over the busy harvest period.”
• Do you know anything about this? Do you work at Berri Estates? We would love to hear from you. Email [email protected] or phone 0455 553 850.