Bottle bomb warning from NJ State Police

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Imagine an explosive going off in your hands.

After two recent incidents in Ewing, the NJ State Police Bomb Squad is demonstrating the power and danger of homemade explosive devices and bottle bombs.

No one's been injured so far, but local police are worried someone's going to get hurt.

"They see this laying in the front yard," said Ewing Police Lieutenant Rocco Maruka, "they may pick it up and decide it's trash and throw it away and you could have a detonation at that time."

On May 20th a toilet roll wrapped in duct tape and filled with powder exploded on the lawn of a house at Central and Grand.

Six days later, three 16-ounce plastic bottle bombs went off in the parking lot of a nearby building.

State Police experts say 80% of the bottle bombs they deal with are kids messing around. But the danger these explosive devices present is nothing to fool around with.

"It may seem fun because kids like to see explosions go off," said NJ State Police Specialist Greg Depaul, "but it's very dangerous and could be deadly."

"Numerous juveniles or young adults lose fingers, eyes, hearing loss," said NJ State Police Lieutenant Dwayne Jones.

Jones, who commands the Bomb Squad, says to make the devices teens often use everyday household items that when mixed together cause a chemical reaction.

"Once the reaction starts the bottle will start to distort and stretch," said Jones "There's a buildup of the gaseous fumes and that causes the bottle to rupture."

And frequently, as they have for years, teenagers record the bottles or devices exploding and post the videos online, ignorant of the dangers of chemical burns or worse.

Police are continuing their investigation into the 2 incidents here and telling parents to talk to their kids so no one's hands or face is shredded the way bottle-bomb bottles are.

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