The main street of a South Australian town will reopen this morning as police administered a controlled explosion yesterday afternoon on the explosive materials found in a flat.
At 8pm on Monday evening police shut down public access to High Street, Kimba from the Kimba Pharmacy to Landmark and eventually evacuated residents in the surrounding the areas by 9pm.
They discovered explosive material located in a flat on High Street and detained a man, believed to be a resident of the flat, for questioning.
"It is understood the man who occupies the unit is a miner and uses the explosive material in relation to his work," a police spokesperson said.
The street remained closed with the material deemed too volatile to move or tamper with.
Inspector Andrew Thiele for the Eyre and Western Local Service Area said police administered a controlled explosion at about 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.
The explosive substances were destroyed on site with minimal damage to property, said Inspector Thiele.
“Police are pleased with the success of the operation and satisfied that all steps were taken to protect the safety of the local community,” he said.
Inspector Thiele said it was understood the man had collected the items over a period of time with no sinister intentions.
“An expiation notice has been issued to a man regarding the explosives and further inquiries will follow regarding further explosives located in the property,” he said.
“All further explosives located will be destroyed in a safe manner by the Explosive Coordination Section
“Police would like to thank the Emergency Services involved which ensured a successful and safe operation.
“The services of CFS, Ambulance and SES were all instrumental in ensuring the safety of the community.
“The explosives were discovered based upon community support. Police then searched and located the substances as a result, the Explosive Co-ordination Unit attended and assessed the items.”
No charges have been laid against the young man and he was released following questioning.
Inspector Thiele thanked the community for their understanding and co-operation in relation to the matter and appreciate the residents of Kimba for working with the police.
Staff were called in to assist with removal of potentially hazardous farm chemicals and gas bottles from Landmark as a precautionary action as the business is adjacent to the block of flats.
Businesses suffered from the incident, with many not allowed to open until the matter had been dealt with.
Businesses who were closed include: Elders Insurance, Fresh Eyre Photography, EPIC, TAFE Kimba Meat Store and Landmark as well as the Uniting Church Op Shop across the road.
The public were still able to access the Post Office, Pharmacy, Pine & Pug and Hotel as well as Kimba Café through most of Monday where it was business as usual.
Kimba man Gary Stutley, who lives in Flat 3 in the block of units, said the man moved in to the flat next door just under a month ago.
“The guy seemed an okay bloke and nothing suspicious about him,” Mr Stutley said. He said he had nothing more to do with the man until a couple of policemen turned up at his door on Monday advising he would be evacuated.
The young man believed to be in his 20’s came to Kimba recently where he has been working as a driller offsider for B&T Lehmann Drilling.
Employer Trina Lehmann confirmed the young man to be a good worker.