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13 injured in Australia shopping centre blast: officials

Thirteen people were wounded after a man detonated a makeshift bomb made of fuel and fireworks in a shopping mall in the northern Australian city of Darwin, officials said today.

world Updated: Feb 03, 2010 14:29 IST

Thirteen people were wounded after a man detonated a makeshift bomb made of fuel and fireworks in a shopping mall in the northern Australian city of Darwin, officials said today.

"There was an explosion... caused by a mixture of fuel and fireworks," an ambulance spokeswoman told AFP.

"Thirteen casualties were transported to Darwin Hospital with injuries ranging from minor cuts to burns and smoke inhalation," she said, adding that none of the injuries was believed to be serious.

A man who surrendered himself to officials shortly after the 11:00 am (local time) blast had been taken into custody, police said.

Media reports said the injured included a police officer who suffered smoke inhalation. Sky News cited witnesses as saying a man pushed a shopping trolley loaded with cans of fuel and fireworks into an insurance company office.

"I was shopping at Woolworths and then just started hearing all this crashing and banging, sort of like a roof was collapsing and sort of like a little explosion," witness Louisa Ainsworth told public radio.

"We just went outside and saw all the smoke and people screaming and running out of TIO (the Territory Insurance Office)."

Another witness, Charmaine Burton, told the AAP newswire "There was an accelerant-type smell, like "kero," or a diesel fuel sort of smell" coming from the site.