An explosion just before 10 am in Mega City Mall left 2 dead and close to 100 people injured.
The explosion occurred close to the Dairy Queen in the food court before the opening of the mall. There has been no indication of the cause of the explosion according to Sergeant Fuglsang. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Those injured are in the process of being transported to local hospitals. Names of the deceased will not be released until next of kin is notified, but one is a male from Seargent Bluff and the other is a female from Sioux City.
The Sioux City Police Department is not worried about any follow-up danger and is not referring to this as an attack.
Security footage has been found and given to police, who will review the tapes later today.
Before the incident occurred a 12-year-old boy, Stephen, went missing from his mother but has been located and interviewed.
“I was just over by the bungee jump area trying to sneak in. My mom was shopping in boring places. When I heard the explosion I ran to the parking lot and just kept running.”
Stephen and his mother have yet to be reunited but he is in the care of the SCPD.
Nathan Hoogland, a Police Officer himself, was in the vicinity of the mall as he was off-duty. Retired from the FBI bomb squad, Hoogland tried to run towards the site of the explosion but was ushered outside by on-duty police officers.
“I initially ran towards the ‘boom’ but saw a stampede of people coming towards me so I ducked into an alcove to avoid being trampled.”
Hoogland states that he cannot distinguish the source of the explosion.
“I haven’t seen the crime scene, I haven’t seen pictures, so I can’t say what caused the explosion.”
The Mega City Mall will remain closed for the rest of the day and potentially the week depending on damages and the crime scene. A crime scene investigation will need to be conducted before the doors of the mall will reopen, but mall officials hope to open doors soon for holiday shoppers.
Repairs will begin after the investigation.
A second news conference will take place at 3 pm today between Seargent Fuglsang and the media. Updates will be released thereafter.