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Historic Explosion - Whangarei - Northland

"Police News Alert Issued *** 1.15pm, January 31st (Friday) ***"

The 49 year old man who died as result of injuries received at an explosion at Opouteke Road, Pakotai, was Arthur Bruce CORNELIUS, a Far North resident who was known to Police.

A 26 year-old man remains in a stable condition at Middlemore Hospital where he is receiving specialist treatment for burns received in the explosion.

The scene examination has been completed and Police can confirm that evidence of attempted methamphetamine manufacture was found.

Earlier this week at a rural address in the Dargaville area, Police recovered firearms, (a stolen rifle and a semi automatic pistol, both of which were loaded) , a number of items of stolen property including jewellery, car parts, a five tonne digger valued at $90,000, 32 grams of methamphetamine and $12,000 cash. Three people have appeared in the Whangärei District Court where they were remanded in custody on a number of charges.

Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said this unfortunate incident serves as a warning to rural property owners to be aware of who they are renting their properties to and what is taking place at that property. There are obligations on property owners that might affect their insurance cover if illegal activity results in damage to the property.

ENDS

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