On Saturday, residents in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam in Australia heard an explosion sometime after 11:00 a.m.
Some witnessed the explosion, and most who heard it spotted the aftermath as a car hit another car that was parked at the corner of Homewood Boulevard and Young Road.
Police were soon on the scene, and what appeared to be a car accident quickly turned into something much worse.
The area was put on lockdown for around 24 hours as a bomb squad arrived to deal with the scene.
Surveillance video that was later released shows a white car driving down the street and suddenly erupting in flames. Coasting for several hundred feet, it then crashed into the parked car.
Authorities later discovered the driver, a 43-year-old father and former soldier from Dandenong, had been wearing a homemade explosive vest that detonated.
Police later determined that the man had been visiting his ex-partner before the explosion took place, and the explosion was believed to have been triggered after the car drove over a speed bump, according to 7 News.
Crime scene In Hallam today, bomb squad on scene. pic.twitter.com/S42v3Nm8jo
— Philip Tyme. (@Deejay_PK) January 22, 2022
“Bomb Response Unit members attended due to explosive items located inside the vehicle, and it took a considerable amount of time for the Bomb Response Unit to render these items safe,” a police spokesperson said, ABC reported.
“The circumstances surrounding his death are under investigation by the Arson and Explosives Squad, and it is not being treated as suspicious.”
Neighbors told 7 News about their firsthand accounts.
“I just heard a big, loud bang at about 11 a.m. and looked out the window of me house and seen the car had been going through the roundabout here and hadn’t broke or braked or anything like that, crashed into a sign,” local Ben Augel told 7 News.
“They had the streets blocked off and police pretty much patrolling everything. There was 15 police cars all around the place.”
“The car was just passing, and the fire came from the driver’s side suddenly,” another neighbor said. “It is scary for me because all the day me and my children were at home.”
At some point after the explosion, someone spray-painted a brick wall near the site of the accident with the message, “Dad my soldier 4ever,” including a heart.
While it’s unknown or has not been shared where the driver was headed, it was a blessing that more weren’t injured in the explosion and accident, as there were many homes around and a nursing home nearby.
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