New Jersey man charged in backyard chemical explosion

1 November 2006: Police officials in Burlington, New Jersey filed weapons charges against a man and his 14 year-old son in connection with a chemical explosion that occurred Saturday afternoon. Ronald COMEGNO, 42, and his son were each charged with causing or risking widespread injury or damage and possession of a destructive device following the 2 p.m. explosion in the back yard of COMEGNO’s home at 255 Elm Avenue, Burlington, NJ. COMEGNO, the owner of a pool cleaning business, and his son were mixing pool chemicals in a two-liter bottle when the bottle exploded, burning COMEGNO on his hands and face and spraying chemicals over a six-foot area. COMEGNO was taken to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro for treatment of his injuries. Upon arrival, the hospital emergency room was shut down and remained closed for a few hours while COMEGNO and the emergency medical technicians that treated him were decontaminated.

Both charges are fourth-degree offenses, each punishable by up to 18 months in prison.