Page last updated at 19:06 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 20:06 UK

Man held after city centre blast

Giraffe in Exeter
The explosion at Giraffe happened at about 1250 BST

An explosive device has detonated at a restaurant in an Exeter shopping mall.

One person, believed to be responsible for detonating the device, was hurt in the blast at 1250 BST at the Giraffe restaurant in the Princesshay centre.

A police spokesman said a 22-year-old man was in custody with "slight injuries" including lacerations to his eye and some facial burning.

Chief Constable Stephen Otter said one device exploded in the restaurant and another was found nearby.

The second device did not explode.

Officers evacuated the city's bus station and extended an exclusion cordon 100 metres around the scene.

It's all a bit scary that it happened here
Alison Fewens

Mr Otter said: "The injured man had one of the explosive devices on him, which partially went off. The other, in the vicinity of the restaurant, did not go off."

Stores in the area have been asked to retain any CCTV footage in case it is needed at a later date.

Juliet Joffe, a director of Giraffe, confirmed to the BBC a "small explosion" had occurred in the restaurant.

She said the restaurant was evacuated "quickly and efficiently".

Eyewitness Peter Lacey, who was in the restaurant with his wife, told BBC News: "There were three explosions. It is my impression they sounded more like gunshots than a bomb, like a lightbulb exploding.

Devon and Cornwall police hold a news conference

"They came from a locked toilet."

Alison Fewins, 27, from Exeter, was shopping with her friend, Louise Platt, also 27, when the incident happened.

Ms Fewins said: "We were about three or four shops away when we felt a vibration and heard a noise which we thought was building work.

"I am a bit shaken. It's all a bit scary that it happened here."

The 230m Princesshay development officially opened last September. The scheme has been heralded as the biggest single investment in regeneration in the city's history.

It contains a mix of shops, restaurants and apartments.


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