4 Injured in Homemade Pipe Bomb Explosion

The blast happened at a home on the corner of North Street and Maple Avenue around 8:20 p.m.

Four people were injured, at least one seriously, when a homemade pipe bomb exploded inside an apartment in the central Vermont town of Northfield Wednesday night.

"We have secured this area and made it extremely safe," said Vermont State Police Det. Lt. Lance Burnham, describing the neighborhood including North Street and Maple Avenue, where the explosion happened.

Burnham said a man, one of five people present inside the apartment, lit a pipe bomb, and it exploded in his hand. After the blast, Burnham said neighbors reported two cars tearing out of the apartment home's parking area at a high rate of speed.

"It's kind of scary, knowing that homemade bombs were being made on your street," said Andi Brown, who was out walking her dogs Thursday morning as investigators continued going through the home.

Burnham said detectives are still looking into what led up to the blast: where the materials came from, and why the man had the bomb. However, he said they have ruled out terror.

"There's no indication that there's any acts of terrorism or anything like that," Burnham said in response to a question from necn. "We're not leaning in that direction at all."

Washington County State's Attorney Scott Williams said Northfield resident Mark McCloud was seriously injured. It appears he lost his hand. Burnham said initial reports indicated another person may have lost part of theirs.

In the early moments following the explosion, police evacuated neighboring homes as a precaution.

When the bomb squad arrived to the home, Burnham said they discovered a second pipe bomb inside the apartment. They defused it safely, Burnham said, and it was determined neighbors could return to their homes.

Neighbor Floyd Stuart said he did not need to leave his property. He did hear the boom though, he said, even though he was wearing headphones and has a hearing impairment.

Stuart praised the state and local police, Northfield fire, and federal authorities for their response.

"We feel very safe in this neighborhood," Stuart said. "Panic is not the right response."

Midday Thursday, Burnham said it was too early to say if there would be arrests in the case, but said interviews and further investigation were planned.

He reiterated there was no on-going danger to the community.

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