STATE – An email making the rounds that warns of the dangers of soda pop bottle bombs is not a hoax.
Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Mansell of Washtenaw County, Michigan originated the message after discovering two “works” bombs left in the yards of York Township residents in April. The devices, made from soda bottles filled with a mixture of commonly available components, exploded shortly after they were moved.
According to the email, “The chemical reaction … makes a volatile build up of gases and subsequently detonates the bottle with a great amount of force. Once the detonation occurs, the chemical substance that is in the bottle is actually boiling liquid.
“The amount of force that is generated at the time of the explosion is enough to severe [sic] fingers and also deliver 2nd and 3rd degree chemical burns to the victim. The chemicals can possibly cause blindness and the toxic fumes can be harmful.”
There were other instances of homemade plastic bottle bombs reported recently. Investigators offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of anyone responsible for using the improvised devices to blow up mailboxes in Methuen, Mass.
Three students at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. were arrested for allegedly manufacturing “pop bottle bombs” and throwing them onto campus grounds.
In May, teenagers who allegedly threw two plastic soda bottle bombs were blamed for causing a lockdown at Samuel K. Faust Elementary School in Bensalem, Pa.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Fire Safety warns that the devices are dangerous and states that they should only be handled by explosive ordnance disposal personnel.
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