Police in Papua New Guinea's Madang province say a large explosion which shocked residents on Wednesday stemmed from the detonation of what is believed to be a war-time bomb.
The Post Courier reports that panic ran high in Madang town following the explosion in the central business district, although there were no casualties or damage caused to properties.
Madang's Acting Provincial Police Commander, Benae Neneo, says the explosion was triggered by what is believed to be a war-time bomb.
Mr Neneo says it sent shrapnell flying to up 200 metres away.
He says police reports indicate the wartime bomb was underground and that heat from a fire started by a worker from a nearby supermarket while trying to burn rubbish placed directly above set it off.
The scene where the explosion took place has been cordoned by police and a request sent to the Defence Force to conduct thorough checks of the area for more buried war-time bombs.