Police launch appeal on anniversary of fatal NSW explosion

Police are once again appealing for information relating to a deadly explosion, which happened exactly one year ago in the NSW Central West.

58-year-old John Burrows was killed was killed by an improvised explosive device as he walked towards his mother’s garage in the tiny village of Portland on July 24 last year.

Police located the remains of the IED outside the garage and believe that Mr Burrows was the intended target.


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An integral part of the investigation is to identify and locate components which were used to build the IED.

Police are still searching for a metal plate which, following investigations, has been identified as a stove element.

“We have been unable to locate the stove element, but will continue to search for it. We believe it will provide a substantial amount of information,” Chifley Acting Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Colin Cracknell, said.

“Police are seeking information from anyone that may have seen the element after the explosion or who might be in possession of it, to come forward.”

“It is believed during the explosion, this part of the IED may have landed in surrounding bushland, around Bell Street, Portland,” Det Ch Insp Cracknell said.

During initial searches, IED parts were found around the laneway but officers believe other parts may have been propelled from the site during the explosion.

A piece of angled metal, believed to be part of the explosive device, was located in Wolgan Street, Portland, the opposite direction to where of all other materials were located.

As part of the ongoing investigations, officers will once again commence a search of surrounding areas, focusing on the bushland and nearby locations.

Det Ch Insp Cracknell said one year on, this crime still haunts the minds of the close-knit community of Portland, and police are continuing with their investigation.

“Our officers are doing all they can to ensure someone is brought to justice, but we need the community’s help.

“If you have any information about why Mr Burrows was targeted, or can assist with information about any pieces believed to form part of the IED, then please come forward,” Det Ch Insp Cracknell said.

NSW Police have released photos of the IEC in the hope it may lead to more clues.