Two hurt in smoke bomb blast

AN explosion in a back garden that injured two people was apparently caused by an attempt to make equipment for paintballing, it has emerged.

Roddy Ashworth

AN explosion in a back garden that injured two people was apparently caused by an attempt to make equipment for paintballing, it has emerged.

The explosion happened at around 8.30pm on Wednesday to the rear of Peace Cottages, in Harborough Hall Lane, Messing.

At least one of those involved, a man believed to be in his mid-20s, was taken to hospital after the explosion which involved the use of potassium nitrate.


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Initial reports were of a home made bomb. This was later reported to be a smoke bomb being made for paintballing.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said that fire officers attended the scene to make sure there was no chemical danger.

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The ambulance service and the police service also went to the cottage, she said.

“There were two young men, aged in their mid-20s. One had burns to his face and one had burns to his hands and arms.

“It was the flash of the explosion that burned them.”

She added that there was a gas stove in the garden.

An ambulance spokeswoman confirmed that one man had been taken to hospital.

“A 25-year-old man was taken to hospital with less than 18% burns,” she said.

A neighbour said that the family living in the cottage had been there for many years.

“All I saw was the fire engine and police there. And I know one of them is in hospital today,” she said.

A woman at the cottage itself declined to comment.

A police spokesperson said that the two men were both keen on paintballing, adding: “No offences were committed in connection with this incident. Both males received medical treatment and no police action will be taken.”

Mark Berry, director of Paintball Extreme, in Tendring, said: “Paintballing does use smoke bombs - or grenades, as they care usually called - to simulate battlefield smoke.

“However, the ones we use don't explode, they are like a generator that emits smoke.

“But I do know that it is possible to download recipes for a different kind of smoke bomb on the internet. I think to make them you have to bake them, like a cake.

“They are then wrapped in tin foil and ignited. They burn very fiercely.”

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