Residents evacuated amid lockdown
RESIDENTS of Tannum Sands said they felt they were in the safest place in Gladstone on Tuesday night, despite areas of the suburb being in lockdown without their knowing why.
“There were so many policemen here, I felt we were in the safest place possible,” one resident told the Observer.
“It was a sense of curiosity (about what was happening) rather than concern.”
The lockdown was a result of an incident involving Tannum Sands resident Patrick Ryan.
After a night of uncertainty and heavy police observation, Mr Ryan surrendered peacefully yesterday at 7.30am and was taken to the Gladstone watch-house.
He then appeared in court yesterday afternoon, and was remanded in custody until a date in July.
Residents of the properties surrounding Mr Ryan’s said yesterday they were glad the ordeal was over.
Two properties closest to Mr Ryan were evacuated overnight, with occupants unsure of how long it would be until they were able to return to their homes.
“We didn’t know if it was a matter of hours or days or weeks,” a neighbour said.
“We were told about 10pm that we had to evacuate, so we grabbed some things and got out.
"It’s not every day you see policemen in bullet-proof vests at your door.
"We certainly weren’t going to stick around.”
Another residence saw police set up camp on their property, erecting tents and joining them in their home.
At one stage police instructed the occupants to sit underneath their table and to stay away from windows and doors, before they were evacuated about 10pm.
“There were 70-100 police here,” the neighbour said.
“Some had their faces blacked out, some had dogs.
"It was like something out of a movie.”
The family spent the night at a motel, which was booked out, but were accommodated with mattresses laid on the floor.
At 11am yesterday explosives were detonated by bomb squad experts at Mr Ryan’s property.
At midday the neighbouring residents were informed it was safe to return to their homes.