Hamilton mall cordoned off as police deal with possible explosive devices

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A Hamilton mall is cordoned off as police and the Defence Force dealt with a number of possible homemade explosive devices.

Chartwell Mall in Hamilton has been closed to the public as police attend an incident on 6 August, 2020.

Chartwell Mall in Hamilton has been closed to the public as police attend an incident on 6 August, 2020. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Police say what appear to be homemade explosives have been found at the Chartwell shopping centre.

Roads around the mall – Lynden Court and part of Comries Road – were cordoned off this morning about 8am.

A robotic machine operated by police was for a short time deployed from a van but was put back about two hours later.

Hamilton City Council said the Chartwell Library was also shut while police responded to the incident.

RNZ reporter Andrew McRae told Morning Report police are moving the public about another 100m away from the mall.

He said the carpark in the mall appeared to be empty as the mall doesn’t open until about 9am, but the Countdown supermarket attached was still busy up until about 8am when they were evacuated.

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One person exiting the mall told McRae that they were not told what was happening but it appeared the devices were inside the mall.

Hukanui Primary School earlier posted on its Facebook page that the closure of streets may affect parents dropping off their children this morning.

“Police have informed us that this has no impact on us here at Hukanui School.”

Chartwell Shopping Centre was formerly owned by Westfield and is now owned by Diversified NZ Property Trust.

In a statement, Stride Property said the centre has been evacuated as police respond to the situation and they are co-operating with police.

“Chartwell Shopping Centre treats the safety of its retailers, customers and the public as the upmost priority and will await further notice from the police regarding reopening the centre.”

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