Howard police warn of 'bottle bomb' scares

Explosive devices made from plastic containers, drain cleaner

March 14, 2012|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

Howard County Police are warning of a spate of so-called "bottle bomb" pranks in which plastic soda containers are filled with chemicals and left to explode.

County residents have reported five bottle bomb incidents to police this year. Nine incidents were reported in 2011, police said. Victims of the pranks risk injuries to the skin, eyes and lungs. Anyone who finds a suspicious container is advised to stay clear and call 911.

Common instructions for the bombs found online call for a mixture of drain cleaner, water and aluminum foil. Police warn the chemicals found in the bombs are corrosive and hazardous to humans, animals and the environment. Suspects can face felony charges for manufacturing and detonation of explosive devices.

The most recent incidents were reported March 11 in the 16600 block of Ed Warfield Road in Woodbine and March 9 in the 5700 block of Thunder Hill Road in Columbia. Three juveniles were investigated for the pranks in February and required to attend a fire and bottle bomb safety awareness class.

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