Suspect device in school carpark 'could have been real'
UPDATE: Toowoomba police are appealing for anyone around The Glennie School early this morning to contact police as part of investigations into a suspicious device left in a car park.
Toowoomba Acting Inspector Tony Neumann said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services contacted police after responding to a bin fire about 2.40am at the Newtown Shopping Centre.
"While they were dealing with that incident, a couple of people approached them and drew their attention to a suspicious device nearby," he said.
"Toowoomba police subsequently responded to that and located a suspicious device nearby in the grounds of The Glennie School.
"We conducted a preliminary inspection of that device from our explosive ordinance response team and as a result we were able to identify the device was not operable."
He described the device as an "aerosol-type can with a number of attachments" which, on first appearance, looked to be an explosive device.
Act. Insp. Neumann said the Dog Squad and detectives searched the car park and surrounding areas as part of the response into the type of device into which investigations are continuing.
"The location of the device in this instance … we have no information to suggest it is linked to the school," he said.
"Where it was located, it could have been any location - not specifically at the school premises.
"There was a couple of witnesses in the area that we have spoken to.
"We are hoping there were other people in the area at the time.
"It's obviously a concern, whether in the school grounds or other areas.
"We have to treat this matter seriously - the device could have been the real thing."
Police have appealed for anyone in the area around The Glennie School, Newtown Shopping Centre, Newtown Hotel or surrounding streets between 2am and 3am Wednesday to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
EARLIER: Police are investigating after a suspicious device was found in the carpark of a Toowoomba school early this morning. It sparked an extensive search of the area.
The Glennie School principal Kim Cohen said she was first alerted to the incident about 5.20am after police were called to a wheelie bin fire outside the shopping complex off Herries St.
She said police searched the area and located an item in the junior school carpark which led to a search of the wider area.
Mrs Cohen said she contacted staff she knew to be in the area at the time, informing them of the incident and to be alert for any suspect items and to report it to police.
She was unable to describe the item police located in the car park.
"Police didn't seem to be concerned," Mrs Cohen said.
"They said they felt it had been placed there as a hoax."
No classes were disrupted as a result of the incident, she said.
"We will be informing parents at the school," she said.
"It wasn't anything serious."
The situation was resolved by 7am with no disruptions to classes or students sitting the NAPLAN tests.
Police will hold a press conference in Toowoomba later today.