SPOKANE, Wash. - A law enforcement source has confirmed that the bomb found along the route of Spokane?s civil rights march earlier this month contained a chemical found in rat poison and a number of metal projectiles that could have maimed or killed people caught in the blast.
The source confirmed the make-up of the device to CNN Thursday morning and is the most specific information released to date about the bomb, found along the Unity March route on Martin Luther King Jr.?s birthday.
The pellets would serve as shrapnel that, once the explosive detonated, would be shot out in all directions, potentially maiming and killing people caught in the device?s blast zone.
?This is probably going to go anywhere from one to three hundred feet, and this is going to take out windows, damage cars, any pedestrians in the area is probably injured and maybe even killed,? Former Explosive Disposal Unit commander Al Odenthal said.
According to a CNN report the projectiles were small metal pellets like the kind used in air rifles.
?If this was an explosive device with shrapnel built into it then it would be particularly lethal. this is anti-personnel, this is meant to maim and kill,? Odenthal said.
In addition to the blast and shrapnel damage the device could have caused, CNN reports the explosion would have scattered the active ingredient in rat poison, which was also found in the device.
Most rodenticides sold in Spokane kill pests by causing their internal organs to hemorrhage. In theory, shrapnel coated with an anti-coagulant could have caused more bleeding in bombing victims.
At the very least, patients covered in a hazardous material would have needed to be decontaminated before they were admitted to local emergency rooms, and any delay in getting medical treatment could have cost even more lives.
The local FBI field office has declined to comment on the make-up of the device.
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