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Tioga Blast Prompts Concern Over “Copycat” Incidents

Law enforcement officials in the Southern Tier are worried a highly-publicized explosive incident may lead more people to experiment with a legal but potentially dangerous product.

Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard in the "Binghamton Now" studio on January 6, 2017. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News]
Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard in the “Binghamton Now” studio on January 6, 2017. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News]

State and federal investigators have not said whether a New Year’s Eve blast in Tioga County involved the explosive target material called Tannerite.

Police have said they found a hole at the site off Diamond Valley Road in the Town of Tioga. Evidence from the scene was sent to an FBI lab for testing.

No injuries or damage were reported in connection with the explosion, which was heard over a wide section of Broome and Tioga counties.

There’s been widespread speculation that the “big boom” was caused by Tannerite.

As the talk continues, Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard said he hopes it won’t prompt incidents involving the material.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Howard said “I’m sure there’s going to be someone who is going to want to try to test it.”

The sheriff said Tannerite can be “pretty dangerous stuff.” He said he had observed a demonstration of the explosive material at his agency’s range.

Howard said he “couldn’t believe” the amount of force caused during the demonstration using a three-pound cannister of Tannerite.

The Oregon company that markets the material states on its website that Tannerite is legal and safe. The website also says “if there are complaints about the noise, be respectful and stop.”

For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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