A picture of the incendiary device which started a fire at Woolworths in Gateway on Thursday. Picture: SUPPLIED
A picture of the incendiary device which started a fire at Woolworths in Gateway on Thursday. Picture: SUPPLIED

Police are probing two cases of arson after dual attacks on Woolworths stores in Gateway and The Pavilion malls in Durban.

It was earlier reported that an "incendiary device" was planted in Woolworths in Gateway which caused a fire and prompted an evacuation of the shop. TimesLIVE can now confirm that another device was planted in Woolworths in The Pavilion‚ which had been detonated overnight.

The device at the Gateway store‚ understood to have been fashioned from a cellphone and propellant‚ had been planted in a jacket pocket in a clothing rack. The device was then triggered, which caused a fire that was extinguished by internal sprinkler systems.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the fire at The Pavilion was reported in the early hours of the morning.

"When the police arrived at the scene‚ they investigated and found a device, which looks like a cellphone. It was taken away by the explosive unit for further investigation‚" he said. "Another complaint was received at Gateway mall where the Woolworths was on fire. Police investigated again and found something like a torch with a cellphone attached to it."

He said that he could not confirm whether the incidents were related. Two cases of arson are under investigation.

In a statement issued by Gateway‚ they confirmed that a device was found. "Gateway confirms that an incendiary device was found in a store. Authorities, as well as the centre’s operations team, were immediately called in to assist with the matter. As a precautionary measure the store was evacuated as the safety of our shoppers and staff is of utmost importance to Gateway. The mall is trading as normal."

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