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Shell upset over lack of warning before detonation of bomb

New Straights Times (Malaysia): Shell upset over lack of warning before detonation of bomb

“Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Jon Chadwick, in a circular to its staff, said he was obliged to take up the matter with the police.”: “I ask for your understanding on this matter. It needs a comprehensive, non-defensive investigation — and I undertake that this will be done,” he said.

Posted Friday 30 September 2005

KUCHING, SARAWAK, Thurs.

Shell Malaysia is concerned that its staff were not warned beforehand and given time to evacuate after the police detonated a bomb near an old oil refinery in Lutong last Monday.

The blast resulted in damage to windows and other properties at the company’s office and the nearby Lutong Clinic. There were no injuries.

Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Jon Chadwick, in a circular to its staff, said he was obliged to take up the matter with the police. “I am most concerned that we were not able to implement our normal evacuation procedures. In the event of a similar incident ever occurring in the future, we must ensure that the staff be warned beforehand and given time to evacuate. I ask for your understanding on this matter. It needs a comprehensive, non-defensive investigation — and I undertake that this will be done,” he said.

He said while no one was hurt and the damaged items had been repaired, there were concerns regarding the company’s internal procedures.

Chadwick said that immediately after the bomb — suspected to be a World War Two device — was discovered at the site of the former refinery on Monday, the police were contacted and Bomb Disposal Unit personnel went to the site.

Following this, the bomb was detonated at about 12.45pm. The circular was made available to the New Straits Times today.

Miri police chief Assistant Commissioner Fauzi Sa’adi Diol acknowledged that the Bomb Disposal Unit personnel had underestimated the power of the explosion. He was aware of the company’s unhappiness that the police did not conduct evacuation before detonating the bomb. Fauzi explained that the bomb was taken to an open space, about 500 metres away from its original location, after concluding that it was safe to be blown. He said the company’s security guards confirmed that there were no underground cables and pipe lines. Fauzi said that looking at the size of the bomb, it was concluded that the blast would not pose any danger to the buildings.

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