Homemade bomb explodes in Richland neighborhood

Tri-City Herald

Police found two homemade bombs in a Richland neighborhood after a late-night explosion set a car on fire.

The blast happened about midnight Monday on the 100 block of Riverwood Street.

A neighbor heard a car window break and a short while later saw a vehicle on fire, said Capt. Mike Cobb, police spokesman. The neighbor used an extinguisher to fight the flames until fire crews arrived and put it out.

It appears a tennis ball was filled with some type of substance, possibly powder, that caused it to explode, Cobb said. The remains of the tennis ball were on the driver’s seat.

About a dozen cars in the neighborhood had windows smashed out, mirrors broken or dents, Cobb said.

“Somebody had taken a baseball bat or some other type of object and started (damaging) cars in the area,” he said.

As police searched the neighborhood, they found a ping-pong ball on the front seat of a truck, which had a window broken out, Cobb said. A fuse was attached to the small ball and was partially burned.

The ball was filled with BB’s and covered in nails, which would have acted as shrapnel had the device exploded.

“It could have killed someone very easily,” Cobb said.

The Richland Bomb Squad was called to scene along with an arson detective to investigate.

No suspects have been identified. No injuries were reported.

Cobb said there have been suspicious fires in the area of the explosion over the last year, but no cases that involved homemade bombs.

Richland police contacted and sent evidence to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at 509-942-7362.

Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556;; Twitter: @Ty_richardson