Explosion flattens property in Derrinallum
A structure that could be a rocket is visible in the property at Derrinallum. Photo by Darren Apps
Forensic bomb experts combing through rubble from a massive explosion at Derrinallum in Victoria’s west have found what appears to be the remains of property owner Glenn Sanders.
The discovery comes as more evidence emerges that the man believed to have caused the devastating blast was obsessed with bombs.
The site is in lock-down and Hamilton Highway is expected to remain closed until Tuesday afternoon.
The explosion happened at about 1.20am on Saturday.
Glenn Sanders, aged in his 40s, is believed to have detonated a massive blast that levelled a building on his property and injured two Special Operations Group police officers.
One officer was flown to The Alfred Hospital with head injuries, where he remains in a stable condition.
The second officer, who suffered minor injuries, has been discharged from Geelong Hospital.
A seven-hour siege developed after police tried to arrest Sanders at 7pm on Friday night in relation to a violent incident earlier in the week.
Bomb experts believe there are more explosives on the property and are clearing the way for detectives from the Homicide Squad and Professional Standards Command.
It is understood Sanders had no children and had rarely left his property in the past 18 months.
Derrinallum publican Wayne Parkin said Sanders, who lived with his mother before she was hospitalised at Ballarat, had become reclusive after his wife died.
‘‘He’s just a quiet, lonely sort of bloke. Very good with machinery and repairs, maintenance, making stuff, fabrication, that type of thing.
‘‘A bit of a loner over recent years since his wife passed away, but he’s just a general runaround normal bloke.
‘‘I think everybody’s pretty much down a little bit.
‘‘There’s a bit of solemnness and there’s not many people around; everybody’s pretty quiet.
‘‘No one in the town really knows what happened up there, to be truthful.’’
Derrinallum Post Office owners Margaret and Larry Howard said they often heard Sanders "working" at night and every now and again they would hear a couple of explosions.
Derrinallum CFA member Geoff Henderson said the sound of Saturday’s explosion ‘‘threw him out of bed’’ just before 1.30am.
‘‘I’m devastated. I knew him [Sanders] and it’s sad that it came to this. It’s just one of those things that you don’t need happening.
‘‘... I think everyone is in a little bit of shock.’’
Sanders had built a torpedo-shaped mailbox and a homemade rocket complete with nuclear symbols at the rear of his modest timber home.
Lifeline 13 11 14
With the Warrnambool Standard