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Soda bottle bombs found at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

October 07, 2012

Authorities are investigating 13 soda bottle bombs that were found Saturday afternoon in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints parking lot at 1253 Mount Aetna Road, according to the Maryland Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire marshal’s office described the bombs as “chemical reaction devices,” according to a news release.

The bombs were made by mixing hydrochloric acid with aluminum foil, Maryland Fire Marshal’s Office spokesman Bruce Bouch said Sunday night. Heat builds up in the bottle until it explodes, he said.

A neighbor noticed the devices, 10 of which had been detonated, the release said.

Three of the devices were determined to be safe, and the remains of all of them were collected for evaluation, the release said.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hagerstown Fire Marshal’s Office assisted in the 1:51 p.m. incident, the release said.

Bouch said children can learn how to make the bombs on the Internet, and they often do not realize that there are criminal penalties for making them.

“It just looks like something fun to do,” said Bouch, adding that the bombs can cause blindness or respiratory problems in people who are exposed to the spewed material.

Bouch said it does not appear there was any malicious intent in Saturday’s incident.

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