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Bottle Explodes In Harlem, Burning Woman As She Walks Home

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A bottle exploded in Harlem, burning a woman as she walked home.

Police were searching Friday night for the teens who set off the homemade device.

"I just started walking by it and boom!" Nicole Ramos told CBS2's Valerie Castro. "I just felt all this stuff on me, and I was like what is going on?"

Ramos was the second victim in a week of what could be a teenage prank with serious consequences.

"I have first-degree burns," she said.

Ramos was leaving a Key Food supermarket Thursday night in Harlem when she "saw this kid shaking like a Sprite Bottle – 20 ounce – and he dropped it."

Surveillance video shows three young boys start running away down Lenox Avenue after tossing a small green bottle to the ground. Seconds later, Ramos steps over it and it explodes.

"I was kind of in shock. I was like, what the heck was that? But I obviously knew that it was the kids," she said. "I just didn't know what was in it. That was the scary part."

Ramos said the substance inside splattered all over her legs and began to burn, leaving her with red marks on her body.

She said police told her they've seen this kind of homemade bomb before.

"They did say they have heard of Drano, laundry detergent, and sodium nitrate -- all types of stuff," she told Castro.

Police sources told CBS2 it was Drano inside another bottle that injured a 12-year-old girl inside a playground on West 144th Street earlier this week. Police do not know if the cases are related.

"It's just irritating to know that someone thought this was a funny prank," Ramos said.

She added she's thankful her two young children weren't with her at the time of the explosion.


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