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Man Injured When Apparent Bomb Blows Up in His Hand

January 28, 1998|TROY HEIE and VERONIQUE de TURENNE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

OJAI — A bomb blew up outside a mobile home Tuesday afternoon, injuring a man who was handling the device, sheriff's deputies said.

Mark David Adams, 40, was injured in the blast, which occurred outside his mobile home in the 1000 block of Loma Drive. Neighbors said they have heard explosions coming from his house several times in recent months.

Adams' left hand was mangled in the 3:20 p.m. explosion, witnesses said. His thumb was nearly severed, and he suffered second- and third-degree burns to the chest, they said. Adams was taken to Ojai Valley Hospital, where a nursing supervisor declined to release his condition.

Firefighters who arrived moments after the explosion said they found Adams lying on the ground outside his mobile home. They evacuated three neighboring mobile homes, and called sheriff's deputies when they saw explosive devices.

Kathy Conley, a friend of the victim who was visiting at the time of the explosion, said Adams was refilling his lighter with butane when she heard the blast.

"I just heard a boom, and I went outside and saw he was covered in blood," Conley said.

But sheriff's deputies said Adams was hurt by a small bomb that detonated in his hands. A pair of smaller devices were found nearby, officials said.

"There were two unexploded devices, about the size of an M-80 firecracker," said Sgt. Chuck Buttell.

The bomb squad spent about four hours combing through the house, but no other explosives were found, Buttell said.

"Right now, we don't know what, if anything, we may arrest him for."

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