Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Police investigate more ‘bottle bombs’

4 exploded devices found in Woodside area of Hailey

Express Staff Writer

    Hailey police are investigating a series of bottle-bomb explosions early Friday morning in the Woodside area of Hailey.
    “We’ve never seen anything like these, so we sent them off for analysis,” Police Chief Jeff Gunter said Monday.
    Bottle bombs are made by mixing two chemicals or materials that give off a gas when combined. The materials are placed in a bottle that is then sealed. When enough pressure builds up, the bottles explode.
    Gunter said the bombs did not contain metal objects and do not seem to be related to other bottle bombs that were found earlier this year in the East Fork area and in Elkhorn Village, in Sun Valley. He said police are not certain what chemicals were used in the devices.
    Gunter said four exploded devices were found in an area near the Balmoral apartment complex at around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, July 12. He said police were called to the area because of reports of shots being fired. The police chief said all four of the devices used two-liter plastic soda bottles.
    Although the devices did not contain metal objects, which can make them lethal when exploding, Gunter said it is illegal to detonate explosives within city limits.
    Meanwhile, investigation continues into the bombs containing metal shrapnel that were found in the East Fork area and in Elkhorn Village.
    Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Monday that analysis results from the Idaho State Police crime lab have now been received on the East Fork bomb and confirmed that the device was made from mixing Drano with aluminum foil in a sealed container.
    Unfortunately, Ramsey said, there were no identified fingerprints on the device. The bomb was found partially exploded on April 24 in a mailbox.
    The bottle bombs in Elkhorn Village were found on April 29. Four had already exploded and one apparently malfunctioned. All five devices contained metal shrapnel and police believe they were linked to the bomb found in the East Fork area.
    Sun Valley Interim Police Chief Walt Femling said Monday that police are still awaiting analysis results on the devices.

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