Explosions investigated at Colorworks

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff

The Elizabethton Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to Colorworks Inc., 151 Iodent Way, Wednesday afternoon in response to a report that bottle bombs had been found. Richard Lewis, Colorworks plant manager, told EPD Patrol Officer McCall that five plastic Mountain Dew bottles had been discovered and appeared to have been exploded.
   The bottles were found at the north side of the building near the shipping and receiving departments and were discovered around 1:20 p.m. An employee thought the bottles to be trash but began suspecting something was wrong when acid came out of them. Investigators took photographs of the scene, then the bottles were placed in a bucket in order to prevent any evidence from being destroyed by rain. The Elizabethton Fire Department doused the scene with water and the bottles were then moved to the police department where they are being stored.
   After further investigation, officers discovered pieces of aluminum foil inside the bottles. Investigators believe the bottles were filled with muriatic acid to cause an explosion as the result of a chemical reaction between the foil and the substance. All five of the bottles had been exploded at an undetermined time on Tuesday night.
   Lewis stated three of his employees had spoken about making similar devices but that only one of them works the third shift. The EPD currently has two individuals who they suspect made the bombs.
   Chief Roger Deal has confirmed that there was a separate explosion on Burgie Street Wednesday night. He stated that investigators found parts of a pipe bomb Thursday morning. The EPD is not releasing any additional details of the explosion while it is under investigation.