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April 29. 2013 11:39AM

Bottle bomb damages Auburn mailbox; second bomb diffused by robot

15 Harvard Ave., Auburn NH


AUBURN - The state police bomb squad was called to a Harvard Avenue residence Saturday morning after an unexploded bottle bomb was found at the base of a mailbox.


The night before, another bottle bomb went off inside the mailbox, blowing off its door, according to Capt. Gary Bartis. He said the damaged mailbox at 15 Harvard Ave. and the unexploded device were not discovered until about 10 a.m. Saturday.


Bartis declined to identify the homeowner, but the town's assessor database lists the owners as Kenneth and Lucille M. Geddes.


Trooper First Class Matthew Partington of the New Hampshire Explosives Disposal Unit was called to the scene because of the suspicious device. He used a robot to puncture a hole in the 12-ounce plastic bottle to diffuse it.


Bartis said someone put some tin foil and household cleaner in the bottle and then sealed it. The gas pressure generated from the chemical reaction between the tin foil and cleaner caused the container to expand and explode. Incidents of these chemical reaction bombs, also known as bottle bombs, acid bombs, and MacGyver bombs, generally increase during the warmer seasons, according to police in Keene, which has experienced multiple explosions from the devices over the past two months.


Anyone with information about the Harvard Avenue incident is asked to call police at 483-2134.


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