Early morning bang rattles residents

Fire training at the airport is confirmed as the source of an early morning explosion today. Photo: Duncan Ball.

A large explosion that shook Mount Maunganui this morning is being put down to “something in the fire pile”.

A fire training exercise at 6am sparked a callout for firefighters after people reported hearing a large explosion coming from the airport.

The fire at the airport turned out to be a burn-off as part of that training exercise.

“Something went bang in the fire pile, but it didn’t sound too loud to those taking part,” Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble.

SunLive was contacted by Mount Maunganui residents saying they heard a loud explosion.

One woman reported a mirror shaking in her bathroom about three kilometres away from the airport.

Others also reported feeling the building they were in shaking. A reader sent SunLive a photo of the fire a few minutes after hearing the explosion.

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Posted on 06-03-2018 15:23 | By Justin T.

I heard the explosion inside my flat in Heath Street, then a split second later the ground shook. Whoever was standing near that explosion would have had hearing damage from the percussion of the explosion not to mention the potential of injury from flying shrapnel of the container. The bang was so loud that I figure someone is keeping awfully quiet about the true circumstances.