SPECIAL operations bomb squad officers are investigating how a “home-made explosive device” ended up in the middle of a Huntly street yesterday morning.
The tube-like object – the size of a soft drink can – was discovered by a man gardening in his front yard in Shirley Court.
Members of the bomb squad were called from Melbourne to launch a full-scale inspection.
A robot detonator was deployed to retrieve the object before it was blown up in a backyard off Egans Road about 3.15pm.
CFA and SES crews helped with the detonation, while surrounding roads were blocked and residents were told to remain inside their homes between 10am and 4.30pm.
Witness Andrew Bain watched on from his friend’s property, which was used as the detonation site.
“I’m just visiting from Perth and so it was a bit unexpected,” he said.
“I work on mine sites, so I’m used to seeing explosions, but this is a bit different.”
Leading Senior Constable Gary Boucher said the suspicious device was potentially explosive but had been safely detonated.
He said there were no indications who was responsible for creating the device, but that its remnants would be further investigated by the Crime Investigation Unit.
“We don’t know how it got there or who put it there,” he said. “The worrying thing for us is that it had the potential to be very dangerous, not just in exploding and causing injuries but also in acting as an incendiary device.”
Shirley Court resident Nichole Prime said she was worried the object was found just two doors down, in what is usually a quiet neighbourhood.
“The scary thing is how did it get there?” she said. “God knows how long it would have been there if this guy didn’t find it while doing his gardening. Considering it’s such a quiet area, it’s pretty alarming.”
Leading Senior Constable Boucher said there were serious criminal penalties for developing a homemade explosive device.