Yesterday’s 16 hour stand-off in the Brisbane CBD came to a dramatic end last night with Nicholas Williams setting fire to his boat and jumping into the Brisbane river.
The man responsible for crippling the city is now recovering in hospital with self-inflicted wounds.
Ashleigh Elliott reports.
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Calm was restored to Brisbane’s Eagle street today after last nights chaotic events.
Ferry services resumed at the pier where all the drama unfolded yesterday.
Around 9pm the siege ended when Mr Williams set fire to his boat and stabbed himself with his bayonet before jumping into the Brisbane River.
Police didn’t take any chances, firing a torrent of non-lethal rounds then rescuing the yachtsman from the river.
Until then he’d been co-operating with police.
Superintendent Stephen Donnelly: “Negotiators were talking to him, it appeared that he was willing to co-operate with some of the requests we were making of him to remove the fuel and other weapons from the boat.”
Business owners are now angry over the losses they face.
Julian Mero, Groove Train Owner: “Probably around $10,000 in turnover but obviously the disruption. Obviously we had to pay staff, we had deliveries of stock we weren’t able to get to that probably would’ve gone off. So there’s an impact of it that’s quite large.”
One restaurant put their losses as high as $35,000.
It’s back to business as usual for Eagle Street today, with restaurant owners picking up the pieces from a day without trade. The 16-hour siege, however, has people asking the question of whether it took too long to handle.
Mayor Campbell Newman commended the efforts of police and emergency services despite the massive disruptions to traffic and Citycats.
Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor: “It’s a pity it inconveniences people, it’s a pity it shut down some of our ferry services and the like but ultimately I think they’ve done the responsible thing.”
Vox 1: “I think it was a long time for one guy with a jerry can on a boat.”
The man remains under guard in hospital, he is yet to be questioned by police.
Ashleigh Elliott, QUT News.