IEDs Explode at Florida Mall, Police Say

Danny Woods
January 23, 2018

Two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) exploded inside a Florida shopping mall Sunday night.

However, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Aprea said in a statement Monday there's no indication of any explosion at the Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sunday afternoon.

But the Federal Bureau of Investigation later disputed police reports and said the "bombs" had been nothing more than marine flares, which nevertheless filled a hallway at the Eagle Ridge Mall with smoke and alarmed many in the town of Lake Wales, about 30 miles southwest of Orlando.

There are no reports of injuries from the explosion - the ceiling and corridor wall near the explosion was damaged.

Searching the premises, the fire crew also found a backpack in the same corridor with another possible bomb.

Officers originally said the devices consisted of a smoke bomb placed inside a PVC pipe and sealed with tape.

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It was unclear if the bombs were ignited or exploded.

Witnesses told detectives they saw a middle-aged white male with a heavy/stocky build running away from the scene. Eagle Ridge is about 30 miles east of Tampa. It says two signal flares "triggered a fire alarm".

No one was injured, but the mall was evacuated.

A third suspicious item was discovered near a movie theater, he said, but the state fire marshal's office determined that it was harmless, NBC News reported.

"There is nothing at this time to indicate this act was terrorism", he said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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