Pipe bomb danger awareness

Tuesday, May 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATF agents in Green Country handle about two pipe bomb calls a month. Pipe bombs come in all shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common, they are deadly.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says they can rip a door off its hinges, blow up a car or rip a human to shreds. A videotape from the ATF shows the power of pipe bombs.

Many people may not realize that pipe bombs are serious explosive devices, not something to take lightly, not something to experiment with. Jeff Cochran with the ATF: "I don't think the general public sees the destruction like we do. We've seen hands blown off, people ripped in two. These are not something people should play with."

Pictures from a recent case in Okmulgee show that a pipe bomb blew a metal door into the house and sent shrapnel into three rooms, the family was lucky to be in a back bedroom when it went off. When most people think of a pipe bomb, they think of these, which are true, but criminals are as creative as the next guy and can take something as seemingly innocent as a dog biscuit box and put a bomb in it. And, that's not all; people sometimes wrap nails or screws around the bomb to add to the shrapnel that will fly through the air.

They can make them small enough to conceal almost anywhere. "A couple of little examples of where they hide them, a cigar tin, with a detonator and some C4, or inside a Skoal can, that's rigged to go off when you open it or even inside a book."

Cochran says people use pipe bombs for revenge or to guard their drug operation and in some cases, they're just curious, but that curiosity can get people killed.

The most important thing for people to know is if they see a pipe bomb or a blasting cap or anything equally suspicious, don't pick it up or move it or put a can over it, just call police.