The bombs contained shrapnel, gunshot shells as well as rat poison, Longview police said. However, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol said a test of the material inside the bombs came back as inconclusive.
LONG BEACH, Pacific County — Police say they have found and detonated two bombs left in downtown Long Beach.
The Chinook Observer reports the devices were found on Monday after receiving a report of a suspicious bag left near public restrooms.
Police Officer Jeff Cutting found the bag contained jars filled with a gelatin material and wires. He asked dispatch to contact the Washington State Patrol Bomb squad, which arrived four hours later.
The bombs contained shrapnel, gunshot shells and rat poison, Cutting said. Many rat poisons contain the chemical warfarin, an anticoagulant.
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Police buried the devices in the ground and they were detonated.
“The rat poison goes into your body with the shrapnel and kills you,” Police Chief Flint Wright told the Observer. “It’s absolutely terrifying to me. You bleed out from the inside.”
But Trooper Russ Winger, a spokesman for the State Patrol, said he doesn’t know how police determined what was inside the jars since bomb technicians performed a chemical analysis on the “filler material” inside the jars and the test came back as inconclusive.
The bomb techs also X-rayed the bag the devices were in before opening it up, then “vented” the jars by breaking them open before destroying them, said Winger.
“I’ve heard all kinds of things — that there was rat poison and shotgun shells — but I don’t believe we have any way of knowing” since the devices were destroyed, he said.
A bomb technician on the scene told Winger “it was definitely something that could explode,” he said.
“They were not set to go off … but they were capable of going off in a crude way,” said Winger, noting there wasn’t anything like a timer or remote detonator attached to the devices.
“They were serious enough they could do some damage … And obviously somebody built this with the intent to do some harm,” he said.
As far as Winger knows, police have not identified a potential suspect. The State Patrol will submit its report on the incident to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI.
Seattle Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green contributed to this story.