LOWELLVILLE, Ohio - Homemade bombs are a growing threat nationwide, and a recipe for disaster according to local certified bomb experts.
"It's an emerging problem. These different types of chemicals and compounds that are found and purchased easily on store shelves," says Lieutenant Doug Bobovnyik, Commander of the Youngstown Police Bomb Squad, "The information on how to mix them is readily available through information on the Internet and it is becoming a problem with first responders, and you can see the danger that it poses to them."
The Youngstown Police Bomb Squad trained with two Cleveland area bomb squad units, as well as special agents with the Cleveland FBI.
As they detonated homemade explosives as part of the training sponsored for by an FBI and Department of Justice grant, the homemade devices packed a powerful punch.
The blasts were nearly as powerful as conventional explosives, like a stick of dynamite.
Bomb experts call them a recipe for disaster, and they say homemade bombs are becoming a major threat to the safety of communities and the emergency responders working to protect the public.
The challenge is that homemade bombs are just as volatile, explosive and deadly dangerous as conventional explosives, the contents are much cheaper -- and the recipe to make them unfortunately is readily available online according to authorities.
Cleveland FBI Special Agent Dan Pillitiere tells 21 News, "These chemicals when you put them together they make compounds that not only detonate, but are very unstable, unlike conventional explosives which you can handle and are used everyday very safely. These things when they're made and created, not only are they detonable, but they're a hazard the longer they sit idle."
In one demonstration powdered sugar of all things -- ignited a thermal reaction that spread smoke and flames like wildfire in a matter of seconds, when mixed with another compound and liquid.
That's why trained bomb experts and all those who protect and serve say with the emergence of homemade explosives, they have their work cut out for them.
A local business, Genaro Paving hosted the training session for the bomb squads and emergency responders.