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  • Pop Bottle or "McGyver" Bombs

    We have had a rash of these 2 liter soda bottle "bombs" in our area lately. I have found a few articles online dealing mostly with using caution around unexploded devices. Fortunately, all have been exploded already when we have been contacted. They have, however, left puddles of liquid in the street.

    My question is, is this material considered haz mat and if so what is the proper decon/disposal method for it.

    Also, what are the proper steps for medical treatment for skin or respiratory exposure to this substance?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  • #2
    The "bomb" is usually made from aluminum foil strips and acid toilet bowel cleaner. So what ever is left over is probably just acid bowel cleaner.
    If their is a lot of liquid you can test it if you like then flush it, if you have combo sewers, since it isn't a reportable quantity their shouldn't be any problem. We had some of these a few years back and we never had more then a little bit of liquid left.
    Once the device goes off it is relativly safe. It does have a lot of power prior to going off, so an undeployed device should be treated like any other possible explosive.
    When we hade our rash of devices we did some testing and a 2L bottle did blow the metal lid off a dumpster, so be careful.

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    • #3
      Advice I got from a haz mat tech at a neighboring department was to use absorbant on any remaining liquid, place it in a bucket for regular trash disposal and wash down the pavement.

      Our biggest fear is if one of these does not go off and a small child picks it up to play with it. My thought is decon any victim with copious amounts of water and treat any caustic burns and/or concussive-related injuries.

      Just wanted to make sure I was on the right track with these.
      FTM-PTB-DTRT

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      • #4
        Someone's using my hero's name in association with bombs? We can't have that....
        ~Kevin
        Firefighter/Paramedic
        --^v--^v--^v--^v--
        Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
        Dennis Miller

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        • #5
          WTFD,

          That would be the best corse of action. Throw down some PIG pads and flush the area with Water. With the chemicals used I would say flush with saline and transpport, treat for chemical burns. You may also want to look at a bottle of the cleaner "The Works" which is the normal type used for this.
          AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

          IAFF Local 3900

          IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

          ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

          F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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          • #6
            It may be worthwhile checking the pH of the puddle, it may just be water. Not sure how easy it is to get hold of dry ice in the States but one that I have run across is a small amount of water is placed in the bottle, dry ice forced through the neck of the bottle and then sealed. Another is brake fluid and dry pool chlorine granules, this will produce a strong exothermic reaction which would probably melt the plastic but I have seen it in glass bottles.

            Regards,
            Kevin

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kghemtp
              Someone's using my hero's name in association with bombs? We can't have that....
              lol

              I'll second the mention of carbon dioxide IED's and checking pH. Dry ice, some water, and a plastic bottle can yield a surprisingly powerful explosion.
              God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
              Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
              Click this to search FH Forums!

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              • #8
                Providence has had a rash of these lately. I believe these were filled with an Acid. They have been filling the bottles with the liquid, placing them in populated areas and I assume as the pressure builds in the container, they explode. Thankfully no one has been injured. Believe it or not, the PD has just been shooting them with pellet guns and allowing the liquid to escape. I don't know if the FD has even been called to any of these incidents. We went to one the other day and called in the DEM and they called in the State Bomb Squad. It turned out to be nothing.
                Northeast Fire Photos

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                • #9
                  I have heard of some made with a plastic bottle, lye ( a strong base, not an acid. Usually found in drain clog remover), and the Al foil. Hope this helps.

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                  • #10
                    Hello Grant, Jim, Paul, Richard and Joey. This forum is a great resource.
                    If at first you don't succeed; skydiving isn't for you!

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