Ballarat hit by car bombings

POLICE are hunting those responsible for a series of car bombings across Ballarat at the weekend.

The police bomb squad was called to investigate the use of explosive devices on a car at Miners Rest, and then another in Canadian early on Saturday. A third car was found on fire about 6am  on Sunday in Belmar Crescent, Canadian. 

No one was injured in the three incidents, which all took place in otherwise quiet street.

Firefighters and police at the scene of the car bombing in Delaney Drive, Miners Rest, on Saturday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Firefighters and police at the scene of the car bombing in Delaney Drive, Miners Rest, on Saturday. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

On Saturday, residents at  Delaney Drive, in Miners Rest, and Clayton Park Drive, in Canadian, reported loud noises before seeing the burning cars. 

Miners Rest resident Kerry Pask said neighbours ran from their homes after the explosion, with many attempting to douse the flaming car. 

“I joined (the group) who were busy tackling it with hand fire extinguishers and hoses,” Mr Pask said. 

“We put it out quite quickly. The fire brigade arrived minutes later. They made the area safe.” Mr Pask said the residents had all returned home before another explosive was found in the area. “(After the police arrived) we all went home and said ‘we’re going to catch up on the sleep we’ve just missed’ and then unfortunately a neighbour discovered a small unexploded device on his front lawn,” he said. 

Police responded quickly, with the air wing and bomb squad attending the scene. 

Mr Pask said the device – of which there had been “three or four” – was the size of a tennis ball. 

Canadian resident Brendan Powell said he and his Clayton Park Drive neighbours had the same reaction when they heard an explosion about 5.20am Saturday.

“It was some kind of device. They’ve put it under there and it’s gone off,” he said. 

“We heard something that exploded and everyone got out of the house and into the street. 

“It was the next door neighbour’s car. Me and a couple of other neighbours grabbed the garden hoses.” 

Police said they recovered an unexploded device from the Miners Rest scene on Saturday, with the Criminal Investigation Unit and the arson squad continuing investigations on Sunday.

They said it was unlikely the attacks were targeted. 

Mr Powell said Canadian residents were alarmed by the explosion, adding another car in the street was burned in April.

“It’s a nice, quiet family street. We don’t know what’s going on,” he said. 

“It’s bloody scary.” 

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said “there was nothing to suggest” incendiary devices had been used in the Sunday attack.