Police closed off a section of Monty Naicker Street while the bomb squad investigated a suspicious device that was found at a Woolworth store in the Durban CBD. Picture Zainul Dawood.

Durban - The Bomb Disposal Unit was called in on Thursday to search a Woolworths store in the Durban city centre for evidence of another "bomb" after a staff member at the store found a suspicious device. 

The drama began at around midday when a staff member at Woolworths branch in Monty Naicker Street (Pine Street) found a suspicious item inside a coat in the store. 

The staff member is said to have panicked and removed the device from the store and left it near a pillar on the street outside. The coat was hung from a concrete offramp leading out from the nearby Pine Parkade parking lot. 

Police closed off a section of Monty Naicker Street while the bomb squad investigated the device.

Woolworths staff and management refused to speak to the media saying that have been given strict instructions not to. 


Staff from a tavern confirmed that he had seen the coat hanging from the concrete offramp. All the shops in the vicinity were told to evacuate by police. As curious onlookers gathered behind a police cordon, police sniffer dogs were called in and walked around the store and the area. 

After probing the store, police gave it the all clear and it was re-opened for business shortly after 12.30pm. Nearby businesses said they were concerned about the loss of business and more importantly their staff safety. 

A staff member is said to have panicked and removed the device from the store and left it near a pillar on the street outside. The coat was hung from a concrete offramp leading out from the nearby Pine Parkade parking lot. Picture Zainul Dawood.


Durban police have been kept busy in recent weeks following a spate of bomb scares, some of them being fake. Last week, police responded to at least three hoax bomb scares in one day - at Woolworths at Cornubia shopping mall, Commercial City in the CBD and at the Phoenix police station.

Today's incident brought the total to at least nine incidents that police have responded to since last week, half of these at Woolworths stores. An explosive device was also found near Greyville Racecourse, the Vodacom Durban July venue.

Daily News