Pipe Bomb Trend Worries Authorities

Pipe Bomb Trend Worries Authorities

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Richard Piatt ReportingThe latest explosion happened last night outside Canyon Rim Elementary School. No one was hurt, but the blast comes at the end of a summer when active home-made bombs turned up around the valley.

It was both an explosion and fire that neighbors noticed last night--and both were big. This was one of about 200 homemade bombs reported in Salt Lake County so far this year--and police expect more are coming.

The results of a homemade bomb are a frightening reminder of how far someone will go for either a thrill--or to hurt someone. Bomb experts say it was probably a pipe bomb. Chances are it was created by a teenager or group of friends, helped with information from the Internet. It's an example of a disturbing summer trend.

Bob Halloran, Salt Lake County Bomb Technician: "We're not just seeing the low-level enhanced firework calls. We're seeing people spending a lot of time and effort creating these devices. And they're a lot more destructive."

Just last week, Captain Halloran exploded a device found inside a car. It had been sitting for some time, but he says it was a danger until it was disarmed. In July, someone blew up a series of devices on Salt Lake City's east side, damaging mailboxes and causing other property damage.

If these add up to a violent trend or are just the result of misdirected boredom, it doesn't matter. Each explosion and device is investigated with serious penalties in store if the creator is caught. It is a first degree felony to make a bomb, let alone set one off.

In this case, fire investigators say they are following up leads, but at this point are not close to arresting anyone.

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