Columbia Township Police are investigating what they describe as “a hazardous situation” at Country Market, Brooklyn. Police report an explosion occurred yesterday (Monday 4/11) as a man and child were operating the bottle return machine. It’s not believe that the two were injured, but two Country Market employees, who opened the machine, were. One employee “encountered a burning sensation in his eyes” from whatever may have been in a returned pop bottle that exploded upon being crushed. The employee was taken via ambulance to Bixby Hospital. The second employee was also taken to Bixby “as he had been possibly exposed to fumes, and his skin became irritated.” A third employee exposed to the fumes was transported to the hospital as precaution.
Suspecting the explosion was caused by a bottle containing methamphetamine ingredients, police requested the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) to investigate. Police note “people manufacture methamphetamines frequently use a single bottle…then discard them on the roadside.” The active components can cause the bottle to explode and harmful gas to escape. Police urge caution. “Anyone finding discarded plastic bottles with unusual components inside are encouraged not to touch or move them” and report it to police.
Columbia Township Police are attempting to identify the man and child who inserted the bottle, although they believe that the two did not know what was in the bottle. Police are asking for your help. You can reach the police at (517) 592-3122.
As of noon today (Tuesday 4/12), police say the bottle return is closed for clean up.