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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 26, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Public Safety responds to four homemade bottle bombs

Public Safety is investigating several bottle bombs that were set off at 10:53 p.m. last night in L lot, according to Investigator Tom Dunn.

Dunn said the person or persons involved in setting off the bombs are not yet known. He said one of four bombs did not go off. Ithaca Fire Department and Bangs Ambulance were called and the Endicott Police Department bomb squad arrived to dismantle the bomb. People in Terrace 13 were not allowed to exit the west side of the building until 5:30 a.m. because of a safety perimeter.

Dunn said the bombs were made up of aluminum and cleaning solvent and were placed in an empty 2 liter bottle.

Dunn said two males were seen fleeing the area, but they have not been identified. He said that if they are found, they could be charged with reckless endangerment and placing hazardous material at the site. He said the Office of Public Safety can also pursue the situation with a judicial referral as well as criminal charges if the person responsible is a student, but that will not be decided until the people have been found and spoken to.

Dunn said no one was hurt, but people could have been burned if touched by the bomb. He said it was a reckless act.

“Considering the chemical compounds, you don’t know how quickly they will activate,” he said. “The person themselves could be injured or passersby. Someone could get seriously injured from the explosion.”

Dunn said bottle bombs are dangerous and he hopes this is an isolated incident. He said a few incidences similar to this one happened several years ago.

“We’d certainly like to identify the people responsible,” Dunn said. “Any help we can get people either coming forward with any information would be useful to identify the people because we don’t want to see anybody get hurt. And then the legal consequences will go from there.”

Dunn said the situation involved a lot of people from different departments and agencies.

“It’s person-power intensive,” he said.  “It’s a lot of man hours that are devoted to these kinds of things for something where somebody could seriously get hurt.”