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Warning system didn't function

Published Sep. 16, 2005

Despite elaborate security precautions for the Olympics, a computer warning system that might have lessened the impact of Saturday's pipe-bomb explosion either was not used or did not function properly.

A computer-based incident tracking system was supposed to provide instant information to security officials and to "facilitate immediate response to security issues," according to IBM, which installed the system.

But the security agents in Centennial Olympic Park _ who noticed a suspicious knapsack and were worried enough to call for a bomb squad _ got no information from the system.

They never were told that an emergency 911 call had come in, warning that there was a bomb set to go off in the park. Had they known, they might have moved more quickly than they did to evacuate the area around the knapsack.