'SUSPICIOUS DEVICE': Homemade explosive sent for testing
EARLIER ON FRIDAY |
SAMPLES from an explosive device have been sent away for scientific testing after a suspicious device was found in a lane way behind Auckland St.
Bomb technicians were called to South Gladstone yesterday afternoon after State Emergency Service volunteers discovered the explosive device inside a backpack at 1pm.
The backpack was hidden in overgrown bush land in the lane way.
"SES were there earlier in the day ... conducting a search for a weapon in relation to Monday's fatal stabbing," a police spokesman said.
Upon opening the backpack the device was immediately declared as suspicious.
Gladstone police proceeded to create a small exclusion zone, isolating the area for safety purposes.
"We waited several hours for bomb technicians to arrive," the police spokesman said.
"When the bomb technicians arrived they took a closer look and confirmed it was an explosive."
From there the decision to conduct a controlled detonation was made.
"You can't know for sure if it's stable ... It would've been moved if no safety concerns were present," he said.
An emergency declaration under the Public Safety Preservation Act was made at 6.35pm.
Police went door to door at homes in the area, advising residents of the expected controlled explosion.
"Some were evacuated, some were told not to leave their homes ... Auckland St was closed between Walsh and Bonar St too," the police spokesman said.
To trigger the explosion, "they (two bomb technicians) have to counter charge the device ... put a kind of detonator on or around it (the device)," he said.
A resident in the area said while people were "kind of expecting the first explosion, the second, louder bang was a bit of a shock."
At about 10.15pm, "people rushed out onto the streets when the second loud bang happened ... I heard a couple screams," he said.
At 11.30pm the emergency situation declared by police was officially revoked.
The investigation into the device is ongoing, but there is currently no link between Monday's alleged homicide and the discovery of the homemade device, despite their proximity to one another.