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IEDs in Florida Mall Exploded; No Injuries Reported

IEDs in Florida Mall Exploded; No Injuries Reported
(Google Street View images)

By    |   Monday, 22 January 2018 09:53 AM

Two improvised explosive devices (IED) detonated at a mall in central Florida on Sunday and, while there were no injuries as a result of the explosion, about 100 people had to be evacuated and there was structural damage reported, CNN noted.

Police are searching for a person of interest still at large following the incident, which is not being characterized as an act of terrorism.

The Lake Wales Fire Department was alerted to a possible structure fire at the Eagle Ridge Mall on Sunday at around 5:22 p.m.

Upon arrival at the scene, responders discovered two IEDs had been planted inside the service corridor near the J.C. Penney and had either ignited or been detonated, Fox News reported.

A backpack was also discovered in the corridor containing what authorities thought could also be IEDs.

The devices resembled pipe bombs with flares wrapped in electrical taping and placed inside PVC piping, The HuffPost said.

The mall was evacuated and police initiated a search to locate any additional explosive devices but none were found.

Lake Wales Police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said police were checking video surveillance cameras but noted that there was nothing at the time to indicate the incident was an act of terrorism.

"We don't know what the person was trying to achieve," he said per CNN. "It's very concerning when you think about it. People here shopping, just enjoying a Sunday evening with their family and literally -- boom. That somebody would do that."

According to witness reports, a middle-aged white male with a heavy/stocky build was seen running away from the scene, WFLA reported.

He was wearing a grey shirt and a grey hat and police now consider him to be a "person of interest" to the case.

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A Florida mall was evacuated after two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) reportedly exploded, causing structural damage but no injuries.
ieds, florida, mall, exploded
Monday, 22 January 2018 09:53 AM
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