Plastic bottle explosion at Cherry Hill gas station

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Police are investigating the explosion of plastic bottles at a Cherry Hill gas station.

Police in Cherry Hill are trying to figure out who threw a couple of bottle bombs at a gas station Wednesday night, and why.

It happened very quickly and was captured on surveillance. Cameras show two plastic bottles being thrown at the gas pumps at a Wawa on Route 70 East in Cherry Hill around 10:00pm Wednesday night.

Police say they were filled with chemicals that are explosive when mixed together.

The video shows the gas station attendant walking over and picking up the second bottle.

He had no idea that he was holding an unstable bomb of chemicals that exploded one second after he dropped it in the trash can. The second bottle went off just a few feet away causing a plume of smoke.

"I find it kind of disturbing," said Kristin Zemaitatis. "I mean this is a pretty safe place usually."

Police say a group of people in a white car, possibly a Honda or Acura, threw the bottles from the Marlkress Road jug handle.

"These types of things don't make a flammable type of explosion so I don't know if they're going to get that cause and effect, but they make an explosion that could do some damage to a person," said Lt. William Kushina.

The attendant says the vandals waited right here on Marlkress Road to see their bottle bombs explode. He tried to get a better look at them, but as he approached the car, the driver took off making a right onto Route 70.

Customers at the Wawa say the incident definitely sounds like a prank by young people.

"If they're getting their thrills from potentially harming people, I mean that's what's scary to me," said Kristin.

There were no reported injuries and a joint investigation is being conducted by the Cherry Hill Police and Fire Departments.

Investigators say there would be several charges for the crime including criminal mischief.

The charges would have been more serious if the attendant had been hurt.

Officials are asking for the public's assistance in this matter.

Police say if anyone should observe any suspicious containers, they should not handle them and call Emergency Services.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact CHPD detectives at 856-488-7833.

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