Espoo police warn public about unexploded ‘bottle bombs’

Officers suspect teenagers set the plastic bottle bombs off on the weekend, but say if you see one on the ground unexploded, don't try to pick it up yourself.

File picture showing detail on police uniform / Credit: News Now Finland

Police in Espoo have issued a warning to members of the public not to pick up any unexploded bottle bombs, even if they’re trying to be helpful.

A number of the home-made devices went off around Kilo on the weekend and officers say there could still be some laying on the ground.

“It’s a plastic soda bottle, and the teenagers are making a mixture inside that builds up a lot of pressure, but it’s not actual explosives” says Chief Inspector Hannu Väänänen from Western Uusimaa Police.

Väänänen says the mix of different substances inside the bottle can be harmless, but could potentially be dangerous if they are corrosive.

“The kids are putting liquids inside that form a gas and that builds up pressure, they are using some things they find at home and sometimes it is corrosive. When the gas explodes the bottle, it still contains the liquid and it could be corrosive and that’s the danger” he tells News Now Finland.

When police have been informed about some discarded bottle bombs, they’ve sent in specialists to make them safe – and that’s resulted in some loud bangs in the Kilonpuisto area.

“Kids get some strange ideas, and it’s some kind of trend to make these plastic bottle bottle bombs. We have these incidents every few years and then they go away” says Chief Inspector Väänänen.

“They come up again when someone has found on YouTube a video on how to make these, but the teenagers don’t mean any harm.”