EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) - Two bombs made from chemicals and
soda bottles were found inside a mailbox in the Broad Brook section
of town, causing authorities on Monday to worry about others being
planted.
No one was injured. The bottles were to be brought to the state
Department of Public Health laboratory in Hartford on Tuesday
morning for testing to determine what chemicals were used.
Health officials believe the chemical used was lye, also called
sodium hydroxide, a caustic substance often used in drain cleaners.
Officials said the chemical is common in industry and in high
school laboratories.
Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection
said chemical reactions apparently had already occurred when a
woman found the bottles while checking her mail over the weekend.
No one was injured.
"The bottles built up enough pressure that the caps popped off
the bottles and blew the lid off the mailbox," said Brian
Emanuelson of the DEP. "It could have caused someone to go blind.
It could have caused severe chemical burns."
Natalie Bancroft found the two bottles inside her mailbox on
Miller Road Sunday and put them on the ground, not knowing that
they were potentially dangerous. She called police after noticing a
white residue inside the mailbox on Monday.
"I opened up the door to the mailbox and I saw all this white
substance," Bancroft said.
Police were trying to determine who planted the bombs.
"It appears to be a totally random thing, which concerns us,"
East Windsor police Sgt. R. Jay Drolett said. "If they did it to
one person randomly, there could be more of them out there."
East Windsor Detective Matthew Carl added, "This particular
bomb was definitely designed to cause some serious physical
injuries and some problems for somebody. So I would say this is a
little more than just a prank."
The bomb squad, Postal Service police and FBI were also called
to the scene Monday.
Police were asking residents in the area to use extreme caution
and stand to one side when opening their mailboxes.
"It's just a sad thing to have happen to anybody, really, that
you have to even question what's in your mailbox," Bancroft said.
Police in Southington are investigating the explosion of three
"bottle bombs" at the town's high school on Friday.
An 18-year-old student faces felony charges after police said he
set off the bomb in Southington High School Friday morning as a a
prank.
Police say Michael Fortin put dry ice in plastic soda bottles
and placed them around the school. When three of them exploded,
police, the fire department, the state police bomb squad and FBI
agents were called to the scene.
After the first explosion, the school was put in lockdown.
A teacher standing near a bottle bomb suffered an eardrum
injury. The teacher was treated and released from a hospital
Friday, officials said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)