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Explosion at Belconnen Mall

By johnboy - 17 December 2011 53

ACT Fire & Rescue on scene at Westfield Belconnen Mall investigating a small explosion in the food court area.

1:15pm Saturday 17 December 2011

ACT Ambulance Service intensive care paramedics also on scene have treated one male with burns and fragment injuries to legs and have transported to the Calvary Hospital in a stable condition.

A second male patient has been treated for fragment injuries to face.

Four more patients are being assessed by intensive care paramedics.

1:35 Saturday 17 December 2011

ACT Fire & Rescue has deemed the area safe and have handed the scene to ACT Policing to investigate the cause of the explosion.

1:48pm Saturday 17 December 2011

[Courtesy ESA]

UPDATE: ACT Policing has had this to say:

ACT Policing has attended a small explosion in the food court of Westfield Belconnen this afternoon (Saturday, December 17).

Around 1.05pm a 30-year-old man was carrying a bag containing cap gun ammunition through the centre. As the man carried the bag the caps were detonated causing a small explosion in the food court.

The man was conveyed to Calvary Hospital by ACT Ambulance Service.

Part of the upper level food court remains cordoned off however, trading in the rest of the centre is operating as normal.

AFP Forensics and SRS Bomb Response Team have attended and analysed the scene. Investigations are ongoing.

Saturday, December 17 2011, 04:06 AM

If you’ve got photos of the incident mail them through to images@the-riotact.com .

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53 Responses to
Explosion at Belconnen Mall
Mumbucks 9:13 pm 17 Dec 11

mcmc said :

I was sitting just near EasyWay when it happened. I had my back to it but when I heard the massive noise, I turned around in time to see glass and dust flying everywhere. Really, really scary. My first instinct was to get out of there, fearing that it was perhaps a terrorist attack and I definitely didn’t want to be around if it was. As I was running to my car, plenty of other people were doing the same and the line to get out of the carpark was ridiculous.. I guess many people had the same thoughts as me. My ears are still, four hours later, really sore and I have a slight headache. I can remember people screaming as it happened and running, kids were crying and all the shop owners were speechless… people were coming out of shops to see what had happened. As I was running away I snuck a glance at the Donut King staff, who were all standing there mouths wide open. I originally thought it was some of the equipment at Donut King. Considering I was about 7 metres away and how sore my ears are, I would imagine their ears are very sore – hopefully there is no permanent damage as a lot of the staff there are very young. It’s not everyday something like this happens – especially in Canberra!

If you’re not feeling better in the next day or two get some medical attention. I hope the staff are ok too.

Mumbucks 9:10 pm 17 Dec 11

LSWCHP said :

The son of a friend was standing next to the guy at Donut king when it went off. He had some pieces of shrap in his side which have been removed, and he’s OK although very shaken.

The guy had a bag of shopping which exploded after he put it on the counter at DK. This is just speculation, but we collectively reckon he’d purchased some sort of minor pyrotechnics like a big bag of caps for cap guns, or a Pinata which was supposed to make a minor pop when struck etc, and whatever it was has been way overloaded and gone off with a fairly significant kaboom. Any blast that can break shopfront glass has to be pretty substantial.

My wife and son are totally shaken up, like actually shaking. My friend said when her son was being taken care of there was an 85 year old lady being looked after who had been nearby as well.

This is a terrible thing. I really really hope the guy involved, and all those who were nearby are OK.

I hope you and your family are ok. If in doubt get some help. It sure would be scary!

creative_canberran 8:13 pm 17 Dec 11

grunge_hippy said :

Canberra Times reporting it was cap gun ammo

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/belconnen-mall-explosion/2396445.aspx

In that case ORS is definitely going to need to find this stuff and take it off the market.
Local thugs will have a field day with this stuff over school holidays.

steveu 8:12 pm 17 Dec 11
grunge_hippy 6:38 pm 17 Dec 11
creative_canberran 6:06 pm 17 Dec 11

LSWCHP said :

I have extensive experience with detcord, C4 and other energetic materials.

A party popper contains a tiny smear of friction ignited material that makes a loud bang and a lot of smoke. An incorrectly manufactured party popper that was actually full of explosive material would blow your hands off, or cause the effects seen at the mall.

My wifes description of the exploded Pinata, along with my friend and other people mentioning confetti and mess on the floor still makes me think that this will be shown to be a defective (ie overloaded) party trick.

From the looks of things, the guy who owned the bag took the blast, and he was pretty messed up but it doesn’t seem like a deliberate bomb attempt.

Guess we’ll have to wait for the Police to announce the details. Your previous comment referred to someone nearby having some debris removed from his side so it was this factor that prompted me to question if it was more, perhaps a solvent can left on a hot glass counter? Hope if this is defective pyro that ORS get onto it quick and recall it. If others have purchased it… ouch.

Gerry-Built 5:49 pm 17 Dec 11

“no sir, the flavour is supposed to explode in your mouth…”

LSWCHP 5:39 pm 17 Dec 11

creative_canberran said :

LSWCHP said :

The son of a friend was standing next to the guy at Donut king when it went off. He had some pieces of shrap in his side which have been removed, and he’s OK although very shaken.

The guy had a bag of shopping which exploded after he put it on the counter at DK. This is just speculation, but we collectively reckon he’d purchased some sort of minor pyrotechnics like a big bag of caps for cap guns, or a Pinata which was supposed to make a minor pop when struck etc, and whatever it was has been way overloaded and gone off with a fairly significant kaboom. Any blast that can break shopfront glass has to be pretty substantial.

Would have been far more than either of those I think. Caps and things of that nature are decorative, designed to produce a noticeable flash and sound but very little force.
It’s a bit like the difference between real C4 exploding, which basically produces a localised mist with no flame, and the special effects they use in Hollywood to actually make “explosions” look cool on camera, which involves det cord and petrol.

I have extensive experience with detcord, C4 and other energetic materials.

A party popper contains a tiny smear of friction ignited material that makes a loud bang and a lot of smoke. An incorrectly manufactured party popper that was actually full of explosive material would blow your hands off, or cause the effects seen at the mall.

My wifes description of the exploded Pinata, along with my friend and other people mentioning confetti and mess on the floor still makes me think that this will be shown to be a defective (ie overloaded) party trick.

From the looks of things, the guy who owned the bag took the blast, and he was pretty messed up but it doesn’t seem like a deliberate bomb attempt.

steveu 5:36 pm 17 Dec 11

mcmc said :

…My ears are still, four hours later, really sore and I have a slight headache. I can remember people screaming as it happened and running, kids were crying and all the shop owners were speechless… people were coming out of shops to see what had happened. As I was running away I snuck a glance at the Donut King staff, who were all standing there mouths wide open. I originally thought it was some of the equipment at Donut King. Considering I was about 7 metres away and how sore my ears are, I would imagine their ears are very sore – hopefully there is no permanent damage as a lot of the staff there are very young. It’s not everyday something like this happens – especially in Canberra!

Seek Medical advice. Determine if you have hearing loss as a result of this. I hope the kids working there do the same.

mcmc 5:25 pm 17 Dec 11

I was sitting just near EasyWay when it happened. I had my back to it but when I heard the massive noise, I turned around in time to see glass and dust flying everywhere. Really, really scary. My first instinct was to get out of there, fearing that it was perhaps a terrorist attack and I definitely didn’t want to be around if it was. As I was running to my car, plenty of other people were doing the same and the line to get out of the carpark was ridiculous.. I guess many people had the same thoughts as me. My ears are still, four hours later, really sore and I have a slight headache. I can remember people screaming as it happened and running, kids were crying and all the shop owners were speechless… people were coming out of shops to see what had happened. As I was running away I snuck a glance at the Donut King staff, who were all standing there mouths wide open. I originally thought it was some of the equipment at Donut King. Considering I was about 7 metres away and how sore my ears are, I would imagine their ears are very sore – hopefully there is no permanent damage as a lot of the staff there are very young. It’s not everyday something like this happens – especially in Canberra!

creative_canberran 4:25 pm 17 Dec 11

LSWCHP said :

The son of a friend was standing next to the guy at Donut king when it went off. He had some pieces of shrap in his side which have been removed, and he’s OK although very shaken.

The guy had a bag of shopping which exploded after he put it on the counter at DK. This is just speculation, but we collectively reckon he’d purchased some sort of minor pyrotechnics like a big bag of caps for cap guns, or a Pinata which was supposed to make a minor pop when struck etc, and whatever it was has been way overloaded and gone off with a fairly significant kaboom. Any blast that can break shopfront glass has to be pretty substantial.

Would have been far more than either of those I think. Caps and things of that nature are decorative, designed to produce a noticeable flash and sound but very little force.
It’s a bit like the difference between real C4 exploding, which basically produces a localised mist with no flame, and the special effects they use in Hollywood to actually make “explosions” look cool on camera, which involves det cord and petrol.

BerraBoy68 4:20 pm 17 Dec 11

My family arrived there to do some shopping shortly after the police arrived. there seemed to be about 15 police around including about 4 forensics experts. They’ve cordoned off a good part of the food court around the doughnut shop next to the escalators. There’s no apparent damage to floor, walls, etc but there does seem to be a fair bit of rubbish on the floor. It looks more like confetti or the rubbish left over after setting off a good pile of bungers than anything particularly malicious. A white tent has also set up within the cordoned-off bit but this appeared empty. One of the shop staff (of a shop near Kmart) said the ‘explosion’ was pretty loud and a few people made a bolt for the main door straight afterwards.

It’ll be interesting to see how the person who’s bag apparently held the explosive tries to talk their way out of this one…

LSWCHP 4:17 pm 17 Dec 11

The son of a friend was standing next to the guy at Donut king when it went off. He had some pieces of shrap in his side which have been removed, and he’s OK although very shaken.

The guy had a bag of shopping which exploded after he put it on the counter at DK. This is just speculation, but we collectively reckon he’d purchased some sort of minor pyrotechnics like a big bag of caps for cap guns, or a Pinata which was supposed to make a minor pop when struck etc, and whatever it was has been way overloaded and gone off with a fairly significant kaboom. Any blast that can break shopfront glass has to be pretty substantial.

My wife and son are totally shaken up, like actually shaking. My friend said when her son was being taken care of there was an 85 year old lady being looked after who had been nearby as well.

This is a terrible thing. I really really hope the guy involved, and all those who were nearby are OK.

paperboy 3:00 pm 17 Dec 11

The rumour mill (aka chinese whispers?) claim something inside a bag exploded as the person carrying it was walking near the Donut King stand. Enough force to shatter the glass.

LSWCHP 2:19 pm 17 Dec 11

We just got back from there.

My wife and one of the kids were in the Muffin Break coffee shop when this thing went off just behind them. She said it was a very loud explosion which stopped everyone in their tracks. There was an Asian guy who appeared to have taken most of the blast. He was on the floor, and his clothes were burnt and he was covered in sooty residue from the blast. She reckons there was a Pinata near him on the floor that had blown apart.

The explosion smashed the glass at the Donut King. There was lots of smoke and chaos.

Police, security Ambos and Firies were there within minutes. She said they did a great job. She was very impressed at the speed and size and professionalism of the response.

I was down at JB HiFi stuck in a giant queue, and I didn’t hear a thing.

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