Durban- Wentworth residents have expressed shock and fear after police performed a controlled explosion after a suspicious device was found at a Spar store in the area on Monday. 

Police have been kept busy with a number of improvised explosive devices discovered around the city since last week.

Milton Jacobs, one of the residents who was outside the Spar, said the store closed its doors at about 2.30pm, and a police contingent, which consisted of the K9 unit, the flying squad and bomb squad, made their way to the store and staff were evacuated from the building.

More than two hours later they heard a large explosion.

“We were traumatised,” Jacobs said.

Wentworth residents who lived in nearby flats rushed to the scene to see what was happening, he said. “There must have been more than 100 of them who ran to see, as the noise was very loud. We tried telling them not to come closer,” he said.

Another resident who works nearby and asked not to be named said she did not want to return to the store. She said the last time they had to deal with anything related to explosives was during the apartheid era. “We feel very afraid as these were things that we saw on TV and now they are here,” she said.

In what is believed to be a police statement that has been circulating on social media, it is said that a 10-year-old child went into the store and gave the manager a brown envelope with a 9mm bullet inside it. The envelope also had a message which said that the staff should put money inside a bag and leave it outside the store or a bomb would explode. The letter also warned against calling the police.

Entrance

The store manager took the bomb to the police station, accompanied by the boy.

Police went to the scene and a black plastic bag was found at the entrance of the store near the tills. The parcel was destroyed by a police officer from the explosives unit. There were no injuries or damage to property.

Ward councillor Aubrey Snyman said he found the incident worrying and was concerned about the staff who were traumatised.

Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, a police spokesperson, said officers went to the scene and found a suspicious device which was found to be “false”.

Earlier yesterday, there was another bomb scare at The Pavilion shopping centre which also turned out to be false. Five devices have been found since last week.

Daily News