Several exploded in Liberty Township, people nearly burned
Chemical reaction bombs were found by two residents of Liberty Township within a few days, prompting Sheriff Richard Jones to warn residents of their dangers.
Investigators of the Butler County Sheriff's Office collect and examine chemical bonds found in Liberty Township. (Photo: Tim Shepherd)
Chemical reaction bomb found in Liberty Township (Photo: Tim Shepherd)
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Chemical reaction bombs were found by two residents of Liberty Township within a few days, prompting Sheriff Richard Jones to warn residents of their dangers.
The bombs were found outside two homes in the 5200 block of Aspen Valley Drive, according to Chief Anthony Dwyer of the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
Six bombs were reported Sunday, from a woman who threw them in the trash. On Monday, Nan Rhode heard an explosion from the garbage, and found an additional bomb had exploded.
Rhode brought the device into her home to show her husband, and dripped some of its contents onto a carpeted floor. It left a burn mark on the carpet, but she, nor her husband were hurt.
"I'm trying to get it off but it will not come off a stain remover," Rhode told WCPO reporter Jason Law. "It's like green plastic blobs. It oozed through, it melted the bottle. I kicked it off the trail and all this green stuff oozed out of it. So I thought, 'I didn't know Mountain Dew' would explode like that.'"
On Thursday, just down the road, neighbor Tim Shepherd found a device lying on his driveway. Unsure of what it was, he tried to kick it to the curb, which caused it to burst. The acidic content didn't hurt Shepherd, but it damaged his driveway and his boots.
"I saw two bottles that looked like they were in a plastic bag up in the driveway," Shepherd said. "When I kicked it it started spraying everywhere. Before I picked it up, before I actually touched it, I looked down and looked back and I saw there was a green foam on the driveway and I said, 'This isn't good.'"
Chemical reaction bombs are often made in plastic drinking bottles that can hold up to 150 pounds per square inch (psi), Dwyer said.
"Pressure is generated inside the bottles by reacting an acid or base with a metal in most cases," Dwyer said. "This reaction generates heat, hydrogen gas, and builds up pressure until the bottle bursts or explodes. The explosion sends the acidic contents and shards of plastic out in every direction, potentially striking anyone in immediate proximity."
Shepherd and Rhode believe local kids are up to no good, and they're likely to blame for the chemical bomb incidents.
"Probably high school kids," Shepherd said. "Boy they need to be read the riot act, I tell you that, and probably should be prosecuted."
Rhode said, "Sick kids, kids who are either so bored or mischievous or ... there aren't words to express if they're looking to hurt someone, it's very sick."
Sheriff Jones urges residents to be cautious if they find a plastic water or soda bottle wrapped in duct tape, and advises neighbors to not touch or handle them. Anyone who finds a suspicious bottle should call the sheriff's office at (513) 785-1000 or (513) 424-2456.
Dwyer said investigators reviewed the chemical bombs, and will work to identify suspects.
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