WHEELIE BIG BOMB: Goonellabah resident David Edwards and the garbage bin that became the centre of a police operation involving
WHEELIE BIG BOMB: Goonellabah resident David Edwards and the garbage bin that became the centre of a police operation involving

THERE?S A BOMB IN MY BIN

By RENEE REDMOND and MARY MANN

A HOMEMADE bomb dropped in David Edwards' wheelie bin led to a police shutdown of the area surrounding his Goonellabah house until the device was safely dismantled at 4am yesterday.

Police, NSW Fire Brigade and Sydney's specialist NSW Police Rescue Bomb Squad technicians rushed to the scene after Mr Edwards reported the incident.

They sealed off part of Rous Road for 10 hours and evacuated two houses.

Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said the bomb had the potential to maim or kill.

A HOMEMADE bomb dropped in David Edwards' wheelie bin led to a police shutdown of the area surrounding his Goonellabah house until the device was safely dismantled at 4am yesterday.

Police and NSW Fire Brigade rushed to the scene after Mr Edwards reported the incident. Specialist NSW Police Rescue Bomb Squad technicians were flown in from Sydney.

They sealed off part of Rous Road for 10 hours and evacuated two houses. Floodlights were pointed at the garbage bin, illuminating the entire street.

Crime Prevention Officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said the bomb had the potential to maim or kill.

"We can confirm the device is what is commonly known as a homemade bomb and it is of great concern to us. It could have killed someone," Sen Const Hogan said yesterday.

Police were last night unsure who placed the device in the bin and were appealing for anyone to come forward with information. There was also no apparent motive.

Mr Edwards, a former Australian Army weapon and combat training sergeant, said the bomb was similar in appearance to a 500g food tin.

The 42-year-old truck driver said the bomb was dropped in his bin by a young man on Monday afternoon.

"I was installing a CD-player in my car when I saw a fellow walking steadily across the road carefully nursing something in his hand which looked like a 500g tin of Milo," Mr Edwards said.

"I watched him carefully place it in my bin and then he bolted up the street and over a fence. I got out of my car straight away and went over to check it out.

"When I lifted the lid I saw the cylinder-shaped tin had been taped top and bottom with brown packaging tape. I could see a wire running down the side of the tin which was pushed into a punctured hole near the bottom of the tin and packed in with BluTak.

"I was sure it was a bomb, but called my family out to see it and confirm it."

Mr Edwards described the man with the bomb as aged between 18 and 21, olive complexion wearing a T-shirt and tattered jeans and carrying a backpack.

Mr Edwards said he was asked to draw a picture of what he had seen in his bin for firefighters, and he later described the bomb over the phone to the Sydney bomb squad.

His family, along with a neighbour, were evacuated and other residents living close by were told to remain inside.

Sen Cost Hogan said the bomb squad arrived at 3.05am yesterday to inspect the bomb and used their forensic equipment to dismantle it and render it safe.

"The special unit was flown in to examine the device. The device is now being kept for forensic evidence," he said.

How the bomb threat developed

5pm: David Edwards sees a man carrying a suspicious tin cylinder across the road, placing it in his bin. He opens the bin and recognises it as a possible bomb.

5.05pm: He tells his partner Kathy, stepdaughter Holly and her boyfriend Joel about the bomb and shows them one at a time to confirm his suspicions ? triple 0 is called.

5.15pm: Firefighters arrive at the scene and block off the street.

5.40pm: Police arrive at the scene.

6pm: Mr Edwards talks to the Sydney bomb squad via a hands free phone in a police car, explaining what he saw.

6.15pm: The Sydney bomb squad is activated.

7pm: The family are evacuated to a friend's unit two blocks away.

9.30pm: Mr Edwards is told by police not to go back to his house until the next morning.

3.05am: NSW Police Rescue and Bomb Squad arrive from Sydney (charter flight to Lismore) at the scene to inspect the bomb and use forensic equipment to examine it before dismantling it and rendering it safe.

4am: Police tell Mr Edwards the tin placed in his wheelie bin was a homemade bomb and that it has been removed and they can go home.



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