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Teens' pipe bomb stirs up concern in Carbon

Published November 07. 2011 05:02PM

A couple of Mahoning Township brothers are in hot water for building a pipe bomb using directions they found on the Internet.

Mahoning Township Police Chief Kenneth Barnes isn't releasing the names of the teenagers who built the bomb, due to their ages. No one was hurt, and while no criminal charges are planned, he said a summary charge of disorderly conduct is pending against the 16 and 18-year-old brothers because of the range of resources needed. Those resources included Carbon County Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Nalesnik, firefighters, police, fire police and a Lehigh County bomb squad.

The incident unfolded at 3:10 p.m. Sunday, when someone called the police station to report a black device burning in the middle of Breezewood Road, near 291 Breezewood, Barnes said.

"Officers responded and found a device that appeared to be a pipe bomb in middle of the roadway. The device was about two feet long and 1.5 inches in diameter. It had two end caps and was wrapped in electrical tape," Barnes said.

He said the device was on fire. Officers alerted Nalesnik, the Mahoning Township Fire Company, and fire police. Nalesnik established a command post, contacted the Allentown bomb squad, and closed the road.

While waiting for the bomb squad, officers had contact with the teenage boys and their father. The boys explained that they had built the device using PVC pipe, kitty litter and gasoline, based on information they had researched on the Internet.

When the device started burning, they went to get water to put out the fire, Barnes said.

Nalesnik, contacted early Monday, said he canceled the bomb squad. He and the police officers put the fire out and dismantled the device. There was no threat of explosion, and the device was classed as incendiary.

"It was resolved without an incident. There was no detonation," he said.

The incident was over by 4:52 p.m., Barnes said.

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