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Police Blame Carton Of Starting Pistol Caps For Post Office Blast

January 20, 1987

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ A shipment of starting pistol caps sent from overseas probably was responsible for the explosion that injured six people at a mail sorting office on Monday, police said today.

Police earlier discounted a claim of responsibility for the blast by a group calling itself the Greek-Armenian-Bulgarian Front, which said it was protesting Australia’s relations with Turkey.

Police initially said they thought a suitcase sent from aboard with firecrackers for the Chinese New Year may have exploded accidentally, but later blamed starting pistol caps.

Neil Raward, chief scientific officer for Queensland police, said he believed mishandling or friction may have donated one cap in a carton of starting pistol caps, setting off a chain reaction. He told a news conference 400 boxes, each containing 100 caps, were sent from Taiwan to a Brisbane sports supplier.

The explosion wrecked the ground floor of the four-story Roma Street mail exchange building in Brisbane, critically injuring one mail sorter and inflicting minor injuries on five others.

Update hourly