Police seek information on “Works bomb” detonation

Police seek information on Works bomb detonation

Chelsea Lane

Thursday morning around 1 a.m., police responded to reports of a loud bang outside of West A Living Center. There, police found what appeared to be pop bottle bombs, also known as “Works bombs,” one of which had exploded. The Allendale fire department responded and neutralized both devices. No injuries or property damage was reported.

The incident is currently under investigation. Assistant director of the Department of Public Safety Capt. Brandon DeHaan said both police and the university are “very concerned” about the event.

“These devices are extremely dangerous,” he said. “They contain chemicals that, when exploded, can splash on passer-bys, burning eyes and other exposed areas. In the process of making this chemical mixture, there is also the potential to harm the maker.”

DeHaan added that reports of these devices being detonated on the campus are uncommon and that this was the first such instance “in a long time.” The devices are typically made by mixing a household cleaner or other acidic substance with metal, creating a chemical reaction that causes the bottle to expand and ultimately explode.

Posession of pop bottle bombs is a 15-year felony, which may be extended to a 20-year prison sentence in the event of property damage and 25 years if injury occurs. By law, detonating such devices can be considered an act of domestic terrorism.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call DPS at 616-331-3255 or to contact Silent Observer.

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