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Razors Rigged With Explosives Injure 2

November 08, 2002|From Associated Press

TROY, N.Y. — Electric razors that had been rigged with explosives blew up in the faces of two men, wounding both, authorities said Thursday.

Federal and local investigators urged shoppers to be careful when buying electric razors, and to call authorities if they see a razor left in a public place.

"There is a very strong possibility that there are other razors out there," Sheriff Dan Keating said.

Keating added that the razors had been similarly rigged. He said whoever tampered with them replaced wires, took out batteries and put in gunpowder.

The two explosions happened about seven months apart. Keating gave no reason for the delay in making the incidents public.

In the first incident, on March 27, Hosea Crumpler of Troy found what appeared to be a new razor in a case in a McDonald's restroom, police said.

When the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student plugged it in at home, the razor blew up, wounding his face, neck, chest, torso and both hands, according to police. He was hospitalized for several days. "It was a pretty significant explosion," Capt. Jack Mahar said. "A piece of shrapnel also hit his wife in the face and almost got his little girl. We determined that someone put it in the restroom, waiting for someone else to find it."

On Oct. 12, James Burdick, 44, tried to use a different brand razor that his wife had bought at a Price Chopper store in Bennington, Vt., 30 miles from Troy. The razor exploded when it was plugged in at his home.

Burdick suffered minor injuries, mostly burns and cuts, and did not require hospitalization.

Police said whoever rigged the razor may have planted it in the Vermont store. Price Chopper spokeswoman Mona Galub said the store chain does not carry that brand of razor.

The second explosion was treated as a product failure until an analysis at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lab in Rockville, Md., determined that the razor had been altered deliberately. ATF investigator John Morgan said Thursday that the razor "was converted to an improvised explosive device." Morgan said the explosive devices were powerful enough to kill the men.

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