Auckland St was closed between Walsh and Bonar St last night after a suspicious device was discovered in a lane way behind Auckland St.
Auckland St was closed between Walsh and Bonar St last night after a suspicious device was discovered in a lane way behind Auckland St. Mike Richards GLA140717AUCK

'SUSPICIOUS DEVICE': Homemade explosive sent for testing

EARLIER ON FRIDAY | 

>> UPDATE: Auckland St reopened after suspicious device detonated

>> SES search South Gladstone street for alleged murder weapon

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.

SES volunteers were spotted searching yards along Oaka St at south Gladstone Friday afternoon.
SES volunteers were spotted searching yards along Oaka St at south Gladstone Friday afternoon. Mike Richards GLA140717SESS

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.

Gladstone police and bomb technicians at Auckland St on Friday night after SES volunteers discovered a suspicious explosive device hidden in overgrown bush land in a lane way.
Gladstone police and bomb technicians at Auckland St on Friday night after SES volunteers discovered a suspicious explosive device hidden in overgrown bush land in a lane way. Paul Braven

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.

 


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