Homemade explosives trend worries federal officials

Yearly explosives injuries, deaths vary

INDIANAPOLIS - While the number of injuries and deaths from explosive incidents has varied from year to year, federal officials are worried about a trend away from stolen explosives in favor of homebrewed devices.

Dozens of people are injured from explosives incidents every year, according to data obtained by Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Bomb Data Center.

The statistics include bombings, attempted bombings, incendiary bombings, stolen explosives and other categories.

In 2012, 4,033 explosives incidents were documented, including 37 injuries and one death.

In 2011, 5,219 explosives incidents were recorded, including 36 injuries and five deaths.

In 2010, the U.S. Bomb Data Center showed 4,897 incidents, 99 injuries and 22 deaths.

In 2004, 263 people were injured from explosive incidents and 36 people died.

Explosive Incidents In The United States

The number of incidents reported for 2012 were derived from the Bomb Arson Tracking System on Feb. 6, 2013, and represent incidents that occurred between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2012.

ATF spokeswoman Suzanne Dabkowski said that since the implementation of the Safe Explosives Act, signed into law in 2002, the agency has seen a trend toward people manufacturing their own explosives instead of stealing them.

"People use a variety of things, like chemicals and commercially available products to make bombs," said Dabkowski. "I think the concern is they can be random crimes, very indiscriminate crimes and just the fact that since you don't know what people are using, there are a lot of questions out there."

Dabkowski said the ATF is concerned about human lives, as well as damage to property.

"Please contact ATF or local law enforcement if you have any concerns or suspicions," said Dabkowski. "People who go about their daily lives are going to notice something odd first."

Explosives Enforcement Officer Michael Eggleston said there were 32 injuries reported in 2013 nationwide from exploding target products.

Thursday on The News at 11:00 on RTV6, Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney is digging into exploding targets and the danger facing Hoosiers when the product is abused.

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