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Jeannette Authorities Issue Warning After Several Bottle Bombs Found

JEANNETTE (KDKA) – If you walk along South 7th Street in Jeannette, you'll likely see lots of old bottles.

But something more than just old bottles has authorities concerned.

"When you mix Draino with aluminum foil, it creates a gas and makes the bottle expand and then it explodes," said said Jeannette Fire Chief Joe Matijevic.

Flames, burning chemicals and potential noxious chemicals result. There's already been on every close call for one unsuspecting refuse worker.

"He was just picking up garbage, normal day, threw it in the back of the truck and it exploded," Matijevic said.

"They were right there in the middle of the street, that's where the explosion happened," said Jimmy Winters.

Winters saw it all happen from his porch.

"I thought it was a bomb or something of that nature, I wasn't really sure," said Winters.

The explosive power of these bombs is impressive. The damage they can do to someone, especially for a small child who picks up an abandoned dud, can be catastrophic.

"They can lose some fingers, definitely get burned," Matijevic said.

And it's not just the explosive burning chemicals and acid to worry about. A YouTube video of one going off shows a white cloud pluming from the bottle. The white cloud that appears is a combination of hydrogen and chlorine gas. It's essentially a chemical weapon.

"If they do breathe the gas in, it can damage your lungs," said Matijevic.

Police and the fire department believe it's likely young people playing with these improvised explosive devices, but it's a very bad idea.

"Not a joke, not a joke at all," said Matijevic, "not even close."

The problem is there are more than enough containment devices lying around. If you see one, or you suspect it's a chemical bomb, call police. But no matter what, don't touch it.

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