Mysterious Marion County explosions explained

Published: Jan. 3, 2014 at 12:00 AM CST
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Following a series of mysterious booms that have rattled windows and residents alike in Marion County, law enforcement believes they have narrowed down the culprit to exploding targets known by their trade names as Tannerite or Shock Wave.

Over the last month 911 dispatchers in Marion County have taken numerous calls about large explosions. Det. Richard Pack of the Columbia Police Department said Thursday. "Calls come into the sheriffs office and the police department; what was that explosion? Was it an airplane crash? What happened?"

Pack said they can't be 100% sure, but the most likely explanation is exploding targets that anyone can pick up at a sporting goods store.

Like many others on New Year's Eve Detective Pack said he heard one of these explosions. "I walked in my house and all of a sudden I just heard a loud boom and the windows in my house actually shook."

With obvious explosive potential, why are exploding targets legal? One reason is the two main ingredients are very abundant and can be purchased at welding shops or farm supply stores.

And so far there have not been any recorded crimes associated with these exploding targets in Marion County, which seem safe enough if used properly.

"Make sure you read the directions, follow all the instructions on it and be very careful and make sure you do it in a safe environment," Det. Pack said.

Most cities have noise ordinances that would be clearly violated were some set off in a town near homes, but as for the rash of mysterious explosions. This should explain a few.