Police closed a residential Springfield street after a suspected drug laboratory exploded on Friday night.
Police closed a residential Springfield street after a suspected drug laboratory exploded on Friday night. Sarah Keayes

Suspected drug lab blows up home

AN EXPLOSION from a suspected drub lab has shattered the suburban quiet of Springfield, destroyed a home and shocked neighbours.

The blast hurled debris 30m across the front lawn of the home and into surrounding streets.

Chunks of broken bricks and a door were found in the yard of a nearby home.

The force of the explosion was felt more than two blocks away from the Dove Street home.

Senior Sergeant Gareth James said police started fielding triple-zero calls about 9pm Friday.

“We would consider this situation to be extremely dangerous,” Snr Sgt James said.

“We are fortunate that this occurred on a wide block.”

He said the home was rented, with its interstate owners informed by police of the incident.

A 30-year-old Springfield man, who was found in the house, suffered minor injuries and faced Ipswich Magistrates court on Saturday.

He was charged with possessing anything used in the commission of crime and was remanded to reappear today.

Illicit Laboratory Investigation Team (ILIT) Detective Senior Sergeant Andrew Massingham said preliminary investigations suggested the explosion occurred as a result of the production of an alleged illegal substance, indicative of an amphetamine laboratory.

Snr Sgt Massingham said the blast moved the whole house sideways off its foundations.

“It was a significant blast from which debris such as brick walls, concrete, pieces of metal were found up to 30 metres away,” he said.

“If anybody had been in the vicinity when it occurred they wouldn’t be here today.”

Detective Massingham said police found a wide variety of chemicals, glassware and other apparatus throughout the home.

Neighbour Elsi Kohlmann, who lives several doors away, said she was on her computer when she felt the blast.

“I just heard a huge boom and my whole house shook and the windows rattled,” Mrs Kohlmann said.

She raced to the home and knocked on the door to see if anyone inside needed help.

“They said: ‘We’re fine. Our gas bottle in the garage just exploded’,” she said.

“After a while the fire brigade and the police turned up and I thought: That’s not a gas bottle.”

Belinda Richardson, who lives next door to the home with her husband Alan, said the incident was unbelievable.

“You hear about these types of things but you don’t expect them to happen in your neighbourhood,” she said.

Snr Sgt Massingham said the explosion enforced the message that people should look out for signs of possible drug activity such as strong or unpleasant odours and lots of traffic or people visiting at strange hours.

He said the Brisbane-based ILIT investigated clandestine laboratories across Queensland, recently investigating a similar incident at Thornlands in south-east Brisbane where fire gutted the home.

 

He said anyone with information about drug activities should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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