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In what is becoming an increasingly common event, school buildings were locked down in Buffalo, New York after several so called "bottle bombs" were found the in the Town of Tonawanda, including some on district-owned property.
In another incident, Fort Wayne, Indiana Police Hazardous Devices Unit responded to a bomb threat this week. The bombs turned out to be two soda bottles that were filled with acid and thrown at a doorstep in the middle of the night.
Most likely the bombs are being made by mischevious teenagers who like to experiment and make things explode. The current bottle bombs are frequently being made with liquid drain cleaner. Such activities have presumably been going on since the invention of gun powder. Nevertheless, bomb making activity, even among friends without the intent to harm anyone is taken very seriously in the eyes of the law. Explosive devices, by nature are unpredicable, but whomever sets off such a device will be held responsible for the consequences.
Virginia Fire Marshal Greg Wormser says these bombs are very dangerous. "You can get very seriously burned. You can be blinded by the acids and chemicals that are given off," Wormser said. If caught making or using a bomb, you could be charged with a felony, or possibly even a terrorism related crime. Worse, if someone is injured or dies, you could find yourself with an attempted murder or murder charge.
Parents would be well served to discuss these kinds of activities with their children. It is easy for a child to blur the lines between having harmless fun and breaking the law. Once the bomb goes off, it can't be taken back.
"It is better to be safe than sorry concerning the safety and well being of our students," Buffalo School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro said. "We do not want to spread panic in any way. But it is important to communicate with our families to make them aware of this situation."