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Explosion rattles NE Price, police search for suspects

The detonation charred and blasted away a circle of mulch.

Sun Advocate reporter

An explosion on the Northeast side of Price sent shock waves felt by residents all across town on Wednesday night, according to the Price City Police Department.

The incident took place approximately at 9:17 p.m., affecting the entire northeast residential area of Price city.

The neighboring residents in the area are near Castle Heights Elementary School, which was "rocked" by a large ground explosion, followed shortly thereafter by a smaller low impact explosion, according to Price City Police.

Patrol units from Carbon County Sheriff's Office, CEU Police Department, Utah Highway Patrol, Price City Police and Price City Fire Department responded after an "overwhelming number"of 911 calls attempted to call the incident in to the Public Safety Dispatch Office.

Upon arriving at the scene, investigators discovered the explosion to have occurred approximately 200 yards directly north of the 1000 North and Homestead Boulevard intersection. Investigators suggested that the explosions were caused by multiple individuals shooting at a type of target called Tannerite.

Tannerite is a type of long-range practice target within a plastic container filled with two chemicals, including an oxidizer and a catalyst, which are mixed together before use. The product is similar to black powder but is considered to be much safer and stable, according to information from Tannerite's website. Also the targets, which are non-flammable, will only explode when they are pierced with a high-velocity center-fire rifle bullet.

The target(s) and ignition device were placed on the south most facing hillside, pointing towards the neighborhood of Castle Heights.

The target(s) were placed in a pile of what appeared to be ground mulch debris and a small crater which measured approximately three feet in diameter. The explosion caused a significant "boom" which was heard and felt by thousands of Price residents.

In the area where the incident occurred, officers found that a main Questar gas line runs along this same area as does the northeast main water line, feeding the entire eastern area of Price city, according to a police report from Officer Brandon Sicilia.

Weather may have played a role with low cloud cover helping carry the sound from the explosion all across town, according to Price City Police Captain Kevin Drolc.

Anyone having knowledge of the incident and/or any further suspect(s) or vehicle(s) information can call the Price City Police Department at 435-636-3190. Any caller with information or further leads may remain anonymous, Officer Sicilia said.

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