Home Social Issues Drano Bombs in Pop Bottles. Really

Drano Bombs in Pop Bottles. Really

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It sounds too crazy to be true, but Snopes confirms it here. An e-mail from the Washtenaw County, Michigan, Sheriff confirms that in April there was a rash of “bottle bombs” in his area, consisting of a liquid form of Drano with a piece of tinfoil floating in it. About 30 seconds after he moved it, it detonated, spewing acid and shattered bottle pieces.  

“Once the detonation occurs, the chemical substance that was in the bottle is actually boiling liquid,” which can cause second or third degree burns and possibly blindness. The sheriff referred to it as a “Works bomb,” and cautioned people that, if they see a bottle on their lawn or in their mailbox partially filled with liquid, especially if the liquiid appears blackish and the bottle is even slightly swollen, do not move it, call 911. Similar bottle bombs have turned up in Massachusetts, according to Snopes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to such a bomb cooking in the grass, just waiting to be jiggled.

I already knew in “olden times” that a soda pop bottle left in the sun just might detonate, or a Coke bottle frozen in the freezer might let go…. Now we know that fertilizer can blow up a huge government office building (The Murrah Building in Oklahoma), we also have to look out for soda pop bottles filled with deliberate malice. Here is a demostration:

  • Randy Klear

    A few days ago, a friend pointed me to this page. It reproduces a 1998 Harper’s article and 2007 AP wire story about a Michigander who, as a teen in the early 1990s, tried to build a breeder reactor in his mother’s shed. He scrounged radioactive materials from such objects as smoke detectors and gas lanterns and wrapped it in aluminum foil. He tore it down when his Geiger counter showed high radiation levels five houses down the street.