OUTSIDE CHICAGO -- The local bomb squad disarmed and removed eight chemical bombs from a courtyard at a condominium development Sunday, police said.
According to the Palatine Police Department, filled with bleach, the eight “Macgyver type bombs,” or homemade chemical bombs were found around the courtyard behind the Randville Condominiums in Palatine at 1116 E. Randville Drive, less than one mile from Palatine High School.
A nearby resident spotted one of the devices and called 911 Sunday about 1:15 p.m. Deputy Fire Chief William Gabrenya said firefighters from a distance were able to confirm the presence of several devices in the courtyard of Randville Condominiums and verified the potential hazard of the chemical bombs.
Gabrenya said firefighters blocked off the courtyard, photographed the devices and called in the Palatine Police who notified the Cook County Bomb Squad. With a fire engine and ambulance standing by, Palatine Police officers and firefighters secured the area and waited for the bomb squad to move in.
“It wasn’t a significant device,” said Deputy Chief Gabrenya, “We were not expecting it to cause a lot of damage, but it’s hard to say without knowing what kind of chemicals it contained.”
In a variety of containers, ranging in size from 16 ounces to one gallon, Palatine Police Cmdr. Kurt Schroeder said the “bleach bombs” appeared to be homemade. “They’re usually made with bleach, sometimes others chemicals and some foil” said Cmdr. Schroeder, “It works off pressure, it build and builds until it explodes.”
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control, the explosion of a homemade chemical bomb can cause injuries such as chemical burns, respiratory irritation, and trauma, or potential death to persons in the immediate vicinity of the detonation.
At 2:30 p.m. the Cook County Bomb Squad arrived at the courtyard at 1116 E. Randville Drive to disarm and dispose of the eight chemical bombs. According to the Palatine Fire Department, none of the devices went off, no one was injured and the Cook County Bomb Squad had no problems removing the bombs from the area.
Residents of Randville Condominiums said officers searched the area for about five hours to look for any other devices.
The Palatine Police Department is leading the homemade chemical bomb investigation but at this time, Cmdr. Schroeder said they have no suspects. If police do find the person(s) responsible, Cmdr. Schroeder said charges of possession of an explosive or incendiary device could be filed.