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Manchester firefighters examine a possible one-pot methamphetamine lab that police discovered Wednesday evening after a pursuit ended in a car crash on Kennard Road in the North End. (MARK HAYWARD / UNION LEADER)

Suspected one-pot meth lab forces police to close Manchester street corner

MANCHESTER – Police cordoned off a North End street corner Wednesday night after they discovered what they believed to be a methamphetamine pressure cooker after a police pursuit ended in a minor car crash and foot chase.

Yellow crime tape went up to keep onlookers away from a four-door blue sedan on Kennard Road, just east of Mammoth Road, where it had turned and hit an oncoming car. The driver and two passengers ran from the car, and were caught after a brief foot chase, said New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Brian Trask.

Police suspicions of a one-pot meth lab were raised when a trooper opened the trunk and smelled ammonia, Trask said.

Chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine can result in explosions and death if handled improperly, he said. The Manchester Fire Department confirmed that a pressure cooker was in the trunk and contained chemicals.

“It could have been serious, depending what's in the trunk,” Trask said before firefighters arrived.

Names of the three people, who were taken into custody, were not available Wednesday night.

Trask said Manchester police spotted the car on Interstate 293 and tried to stop it, but broke off pursuit and informed State Police. A trooper spotted the car speeding southbound on Interstate 93, passing motorists on the right-hand shoulder, Trask said.

The car exited Exit 5 in North Londonderry, and state police pursued it north on Route 28, where at one point it was clocked at 62 mph. It made the turn onto Kennard Road and struck a car head on, causing slight damage and no injuries.

The three – two men and a woman – ran. A trooper apprehended one on Kennard Road and Manchester police caught two on Mammoth Road. A police dog was brought in to perform an article search, looking for items the three may have disposed while running away, Trask said.

The three asked to be checked at local hospitals upon their arrest. The driver of the car that was hit suffered no injuries, Trask said.

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