The devastation after the Derrinallum explosion caused by Glenn Sanders (right).GLENN Sanders often told his friends he was going to go out with a bang, and it was a threat that came truein a big way on April 12, 2014.
The coronial inquest into Mr Sanders’death was told there were seven explosions on the night in question.
“At 1.20am, while speaking with negotiators, there was an explosion in the house, then the (improvised explosive device Mr Sanders)was wearing (exploded),” the counsel assisting the coroner told the court.
“The house blast, through a conduit, triggered five other blasts.”
The site of the explosion at Derrinallum, with Mr Sanders’ mother’s house undamaged at the bottom of the image.
Mr Sanders was killed and two police officers were injured.
The blast decimated Mr Sanders’ house and numerous sheds, and the court heardthe chain reaction of blasts was probably triggered“by a timer device that was activated when police first arrived” around 7pm on April 11.
Mr Sanders’ mother’s house, located nearby, was miraculously undamaged. His friend Andrew Breen told the inquest that was an example of Mr Sanders’ uncanny ability with explosives.
“That’s how bloody smart he was–he could set a bomb off and not destroy his mother’s house 30 metres away,” Mr Breen said.
Mr Breen, who referred to Mr Sanders as his best mate, received a phone call from his step-brother 40 minutes after the series of explosions tellinghim Mr Sanders was dead.
The explosive world of Glenn Sanders TweetFacebookAt 8am, Mr Breen called Crimestoppers to let them know he had“further information on where the location of more explosives may be … (and) trying to tell police where I’d expect explosives to be hidden”.
“I said to them nothing is what it appears to be,” he told the inquest.
“There are fire extinguishers that aren’t fire extinguishers.”
Mr Breen detailed to police what he knew about the Sanders’ farm from decades of visits, including the location of two shipping containers buried behind one of the sheds. He said it was impossible to tell they were there, with the entrance hidden under a steel plate, piles of tyres and miscellaneous debris in a nearby shed. There was also an eight-by-eight metre bunker, with an entrance through an old stock crate, buried behind the old dairy. At one point, Mr Sanders had a hydroponic set-up in the bunker growing cannabis.
Mr Breen said Mr Sanders would paint detonator cordblack to look like regular electric cables, which meant any wire running between buildings on his property could in fact be part of an intricateexplosive device.
Mr Sanders always had explosives nearby in the 18 months between his second wife dying and his own death.
“One day … when I went for a visit Glenn was wearing a black bra which he had made into (an) ‘explosive vest’,” Mr Breen said in his statement to police.
“This vest consisted of the black bra filled with Powergel sticks and about 30 metres of detonation cord. From that time on, every time I saw Glenn he was wearing that vest. He wouldn’t leave the house without wearing it. He would often go into town wearing the vest under his shirt. Glenn said to me once that when ‘they’ came for me they would more than likely grab my arms.
“He then showed me pressure switch detonators on the shoulders of the vest so he could activate it with his head. These switches looked like door bells, or a white button. He would often talk about another vest which was similar but contained more explosives. Glenn told me all the time that these vests were so ‘they’ couldn’t take (him) alive.”
Mr Breen also told the inquest he recalled seeing Mr Sanders take out his wallet to reveal “ablock of explosive gel squashed down into his wallet”.
“That’s another back up one,” Mr Sanders told Mr Breen.
Mr Breen also reported seeing Mr Sanders demonstrate “using a mobile phone as a detonator”, which he used to blow-up a coke bottle filled with one of his homemade explosive brews.
The Standard, Warrnambool