Pipe Bomb Raises Questions About Safety

10-3-05 - It was a matter of chance. Two men were working on their broken down car just a few feet away when they saw something that suspicious that looked like a pipe bomb.

Lab tests would later confirm that to be true.

While it may seem unbelievable that something so dangerous could be sitting out for anyone to stumble upon, creating such a device is hardly rocket science.

They were blasts that rocked downtown Sherman, and the man responsible, Ed Kosanke, is now headed to prison for the next two and a half years.

Two days before he was sentenced, it was clear that Kosanke wasn't the only one out there making bombs, and those who are don't have to look far.

"There are a variety of motivations," Sherman Police Sgt. MArk McRee said. "The problem we face, like with a meth lab, is that bomb can be made with material from hobby shop."

But it can cause plenty of trouble. Friday's incident in Sherman, as well as the suicide explosion in Norman on Saturday, came from homemade devices requiring few resources and little assembly.

Black powder guns and black powder ammo can be bought at Dave's Ski and Tackle in Denison, but if you want black powder itself you'll have to go elsewhere because it is just too dangerous.

"Insurance told me not to carry it," David Parkey of Dave's Ski and Tackle said. "I won't even special order it because of volatility."

When it comes to the prime explosive ingredient, not everyone has the same reservations. While Parkey carries black gun powder substitutes for those using it for it's intended use, there are stores in the area that have explosive licenses to sell black powder to anyone who wants it.

"Mom and pop type places probably have to be self insured," Parkey said.

Sgt. McRee agrees that things need to change.

"Like a meth lab, we have to make those components harder to get to," McRee said.

There is no law on who can buy the powder leaving it to store owners to look for red flags themselves such as how much of it is bought and the age of the buyer.

Once it is sold, you never know where it may show up again.

As for the actual strength of these bombs, they can cause property damage or be very deadly depending on how it is constructed.

While black powder is the strongest material, pipe bombs can be made from just about anything from smokeless powder to even fire crackers.

The bomb that was discovered in Sherman is still being examined to determine how potent it could have been.