Bomb squad called to mall in Hamilton

Home-made explosive devices found in Hamilton on Thursday morning appear to be an attempt to damage an ATM, police say.

Chartwell Shopping Centre was closed and cordoned off by police after the bombs were reported earlier in the morning.

Police confirmed about 1pm on Thursday the mall had reopened and cordons lifted.

"No further items of concern have been located following a comprehensive search of the area by police," a statement said.

"This appears to be a targeted attempt at damaging an ATM, located on the exterior wall of the shopping centre at its southern end."

Bomb squad called to mall in Hamilton
Photo credit: Newshub/Chris Bruce

Those near the scene had reported hearing "explosions" earlier on Wednesday morning.

"We live close to the mall. Around 2am my sons heard two explosions, went to end of driveway and couldn't see anything so went back to bed," one woman commented on Facebook.

Police said it's believed two of the devices had already detonated before they were notified. No-one was injured and damage was contained to the ATM.

Bomb squad called to mall in Hamilton
Photo credit: Newshub/Chris Bruce

A worker near the mall told Newshub they had been told to stay inside for two hours.

Another, office worker Gary Jacobsen, earlier said they had been eagerly waiting for the area to be secured.

"All the workers who parked down the road - are standing there waiting until they can get past the police cordon," he told Newshub.

Jacobsen said it will be frustrating for retailers that took a hit from lockdown having to close on Wednesday morning.

Nearby Hukanui Primary said the incident didn't impact the school.

"Please be aware there is a lockdown at Chartwell this morning. This may affect parking, so please be patient when dropping your children to school this morning," a post on the school's Facebook page said.

"Police have informed us that this has no impact on us here at Hukanui School."

Chartwell's library was earlier closed due to the incident but has since reopened, the Hamilton City Council said.