Suspect 'bomb' shakes Nimbin

CONFLICTING reports have emerged over a blast which rang out in the streets of Nimbin yesterday.

Locals are claiming the blast emanated from a home-made bomb that was hurled over the fence into the garden at the back of the Sound Lounge about 12.30pm.

Wendy Ryan, who ran the Sound Lounge for two years and continues to live next door, said three people were injured by shrapnel flying from the bomb.

Ms Ryan said a teenager suffered a cut to the foot, an older man was cut on the thumb by flying shrapnel and a baby sitting near the device when it went off was rushed from the scene by its mother, so Ms Ryan could not say what injuries the child had suffered.

However, a Lismore police supervisor said the cardboard remains of the explosive device indicated it was probably a fire cracker.

She said police had received no reports of injuries from the blast.

NSW Ambulance officers attended the Sound Lounge as a precaution but were not required to treat anyone and no-one attended Nimbin Hospital after the blast.

Ms Ryan said her children, aged seven and eight, were extremely shaken by the incident.

She said the Sound Lounge, designed to be a 'safe place' for artists and musicians to hang out until 2am, had copped some flack and threats from some elements in the community because it was staunchly anti-drugs and alcohol.

She said this policy did not extend to marijuana.

Elijah, who was at the Sound Lounge during the incident, said the device had a burning wick and looked to be made of metal tubing.

He said the device lay smoking in the garden, which was full of people, for a minute before it went off.

"This bomb was bloody loud. When we saw it we all ran for it and hit the deck," he said.

Elijah and Ms Ryan said they both lodged complaints with police at Nimbin in recent days about groups threatening and intimidating people at the Sound Lounge.

Richmond Local Area Command duty officer Scott Bingham said police received a report of an assault at the Sound Lounge on Saturday night, but no-one had been charged and it was still under investigation.

Insp Bingham said the situation appeared to involve a dispute between people at the Sound Lounge and some other people in town.

But he said claims that gangs were 'running around town, terrorising people' were not true.

"There is definitely not a gang problem in Nimbin," he said.

Police are continuing to investigate yesterday's incident and will have the remains of the device sent off for analysis.


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