Shoppers frantically EVACUATE Eagle Ridge Mall after 'bomb' explodes

A bomb exploded in the entryway of a JC Penney at a Florida Mall on Sunday evening police have said

An improvised explosive device caused a fire at a central Florida mall Sunday evening and forced the building to be evacuated.

The fire department raced to the scene and found the smoke coming from a service corridor, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV, Tampa Bay-Sarasota reported.

Officers say two pipe bomb-type devices were detonated in a corridor mainly used by employees near a JCPenney store, while a third package - a backpack - was found close to a cinema.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said firefighters were called to the Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales shortly before 5:30 p.m. There were no injuries as a result of the explosion but there was damage to a drop ceiling and possibly to the corridor wall.


Police are now searching for a middle-aged white male seen wearing a grey shirt and hat who has been deemed a person of interest.

No one was hurt after an explosion at a Lake Wales Mall, an official said. He was wearing a gray shirt and gray hat and is considered a person of interest.

NBC News reports that the FBI is in the earliest stages of an investigation and has yet to declare whether this was a terror-related incident.

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