Soda bottle bomb explodes at UMaine

Posted March 24, 2010, at 11 p.m.

University of Maine police are investigating the apparent eruption Monday of a homemade soda bottle bomb outside a building in the Stewart Quad area of campus.

When the device went off about 10:20 p.m., the noise caught the attention of a campus police officer, UM spokesman Joe Carr said Wednesday.

Though Carr said he wasn’t sure what had been used to make the device, he said campus police said the bottle contained chemical components. He said the device sounded comparable to those known to police as acid bombs.

Area police who have had to deal with the devices in recent years say they usually are made by mixing a common household cleaner with aluminum foil inside an empty soda bottle. After gas from the resulting chemical reaction builds up, the bottle explodes.

Though no injuries were reported as a result of this week’s incident, the devices are considered dangerous because they can burn, blind or otherwise injure people and because their lack of a fuse or timer makes them unpredictable. (Dawn Gagnon, BDN)

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