Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
6 Jul 2018
1:20 pm

UPDATE: Incendiary device found at Woolworths in Gateway shopping centre

Citizen Reporter

The store had to be evacuated while the bomb squad attended to the scene.

Gateway shopping centre. Image: Northglen News

Durban North police are still investigating after an incendiary device was discovered in Woolworths at Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Thursday afternoon. Another device was found at the Pavilion Shopping Centre’s Woolworths. Both stores were promptly evacuated.

Captain Raymond Deokaran, spokesman for the Durban North SAPS, confirmed the store had to be evacuated while the bomb squad attended to the scene.

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“We received a call that a device was found inside the clothing department of the store and had to call in the bomb squad, who confirmed the device was actually an incendiary device. The device was designed to cause a fire. At this stage, no case has been opened, but we are aware of the situation and no injuries have been reported,” he said.

The devices were hidden in Woolworths’ menswear section. Image: Supplied

Image: Supplied

In a statement issued yesterday, Gateway confirmed a device was found in one of the shops.

“Gateway Theatre of Shopping confirms that an incendiary device was found in a store. Authorities as well as the Centre operations team were immediately called in to assist with the matter. As a precautionary measure, the store was evacuated as the safety of our shoppers and staff is of utmost importance to Gateway,” the mall said.

The mall is trading as normal.

Additional information from IOL suggests the devices were built to start a fire, and not to explode. It is not yet known whether the fires are related. No injuries were reported.

Burnt clothes and the alleged device that caused the fire at one of the Woolworths in Durban yesterday. Image: Supplied

“We can confirm that we found an explosive device in our Westville Pavilion store late on Wednesday night and Gateway store on Thursday. The device in the Pavilion store caused a fire in a section of our menswear department, which was extinguished quickly, and no one was injured. As soon as we were made aware of a potential explosive device in our Gateway store, we immediately evacuated the store as a precautionary measure in order to ensure the safety of our people and our customers.

“The safety of our people and our customers is our highest priority. We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate this issue further and are taking additional precautionary measures. Both stores are open for trading,” read the statement released by Woolworths yesterday.

Additional reporting by Northglen News.

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