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Prangin Mall Explosion Due To Low Powered Explosive

From Bernama of January 16, 2006

PENANG, Jan 16 (Bernama) --An explosion that killed a man and injured another near an entertainment centre at Prangin Mall shopping centre pedestrian walkway here Sunday night was due to a low-powered explosive, police said.
State CID Chief SAC II Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said the cause of the explosion was identified based on the discovery of several iron pieces, nails and spent bullets found scattered around the scene of the incident early this morning.
He said the strength of explosion of between 30 and 40 feet was almost equivalent to those released from firecrackers or fireworks.
Speaking at a press conference here today, Syed Ismail said the explosive device had a delayed fuse almost similar to a firecracker wick and was placed inside a bush of ornament flowers at Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong's five foot way.
Syed Ismail said four spent bullets and more than 20 old nails of about 8cm length each were found at the site.
Probably weaponry powder and chemical substance like sulphur were used to prepare the explosive, he said.
In the 9pm incident, a swimming coach Yeoh Kok Siew, 47, died at the scene while another man, Wong Boon Tat, 66 was injured in the explosion.
Earlier report last night said the incident was believed to have been caused by an electric switch box that exploded when the victims were watching a singing contest organised by an entertainment outlet there.
However, a detailed investigation revealed that the incident was due to low-powered explosive and not related to any terrorism act.
Syed Ismail said business problems, individuals with ill-intention or an act of warning towards certain parties could be among the possible motives behind the incident.
Since this morning, traffic condition around Komtar leading to Prangin Mall had worsened after several roads near the incident site was closed by the police to allow them to carry out their investigation.
SAC II Syed Ismail said it was not possible that the explosive had been prepared by professionals as the explosive was of low power.
"Anyone with a knowledge of making fireworks or firecrackers and just a little knowledge of making explosive could also do it like making mortar or bamboo cannon," he said.
So far no arrest had been made in connection with the case.
He said the situation in the state was under control at the moment and he urged members of the public not to panic.
The public should not worry on seeing a large number of policemen or patrol cars deployed throughout the state as it was meant as a crime preventive measure in view of the Chinese New Year celebration.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who was also present at the press conference said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in their investigation also found that the explosion had nothing to do with its switch box.
He urged those who had additional information on the incident to contact Timur Laut Acting OCPD Supt Gan Kong Meng or Timur Laut Police Headquarters at 04-22822222 or the case Investigating Officer ASP Azry Akmar Ayop at 019-5670059.

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