Bomb disposal experts attend a house in the Sydney suburb of Mosman where it is believed an 18-year-old schoolgirl has a bomb strapped to her neck. Picture: Attila Szilvasi
Developing Story: Sydney police race to defuse ‘collar bomb’ on teen girl, who was plunged into a terrifying life-or-death situation early this afternoon when a suspected live bomb was forcibly strapped to the 18 year old schoolgirl — along with a ransom note — in an apparent extortion attempt. Street is in lockdown. British military reportedly consulted by Sydney police.
The incident has garnered worldwide attention, with international news websites from the BBC in Britain to CNN in the US offering prominent coverage.
According to twitter reports "Police have confirmed that the bomb siege at Mosman is over, with the teenage victim released safe and well." "Sydney police say young woman in #Mosman bomb incident now safe" ending a horrifying 10-hour ordeal. "Great job NSW Police Bomb Squad!"
Update Just In 12:20am: POLICE have secured the release of a Sydney schoolgirl who spent 10 hours strapped to an explosive device. Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the girl had been released from the device and reunited safely with her parents. The device was still intact, he told reporters.
The victim has been tentatively identified as 18 year old Madeline Pulver who is the daughter of high-profile business executive William Pulver, who was believed to be the target of the apparent extortion bid.
Mr Pulver is chief executive of the technology company Appen Butler Hill, which provides complex "linguistic solutions" for language and data to businesses. Appen provides linguistics technologies to companies including Microsoft, Google and Nokia.
POLICE are trying to defuse a bomb strapped to a teenage girl at a multimillion dollar house in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Mosman.
The investigation into the incident on Sydney's lower north shore is now being headed by the robbery and serious crimes squad, which also deals with extortion attempts.
It was not clear how the device came to be strapped to the 18-year-old girl but it is understood she did not place it there herself.
Police believe a ransom note is attached to the girl's neck but bomb experts have been unable to read its contents.
A senior police police officer described the device as an unusual "collar bomb" which has never been seen before in Australia.
He said police believed it was an extortion attempt and that details of the situation were being conveyed to police via the girl's father.
NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the situation was a "very serious and sensitive matter". "We are still treating the suspicious package as live," he said tonight. "I can't confirm whether it is strapped to the woman involved but she is still in the vicinity of the device."
When asked whether the girl could move away from the bomb, Mr Murdoch said: "No, she can't get away from it."
"We don't know what we are dealing with...we are working very hard to find out exactly what it is, and equally important, what it isn't," he said.
Mr Murdoch did not confirm whether girl was a victim of an extortion attempt - instead he said police were still unsure what they were dealing with.
As the incident enters its ninth hour, Mr Murdoch said the device was proving "a tough nut to crack".
NSW police had spoken with other agencies in Australia including the federal police and were researching the device, he said.
He said the girl, believed to be a Year 12 student at a north shore private school, was extremely calm, with specialist officers helping to guide her through the ordeal.
She has not moved from a room at the front of the house since authorities arrived.
Her parents were being cared for by police and being kept "fully up-to-date", but the only people the young woman had contact with were police negotiators.
A bomb disposal expert in full headgear was seen outside the home.
The drama unfolded at 2.40pm this afternoon when an 18-year-old girl called police to the mansion in Burrawong Avenue, Mosman "following discovery of a suspicious device".
The street is home to Sydney's richest, including racing identity Gai Waterhouse, ex-Wallaby Phil Kearns and John Eales.
Police have cordoned off the house and a command post has been set-up on the corner of Burrawong Ave and David Street.
A third police rescue vehicle has entered the crime scene, as well as a number of detectives.
The girl is believed to be studying her HSC this year. She celebrated her 18th birthday with a party at her home three weeks ago.
Police said in a statement the incident was not being treated as self-harm.[heraldsun.com.au]
*Mosman is one of Sydney's prestige suburbs, home to multi-million dollar properties and Australian identities.