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Another "Bottle Bomb" Explodes in Va. Theater

Incident is second in two weeks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two boys were splashed with a chemical inside a bottle bomb at the AMC Movie Theatre in Tysons Corner. Darcy Spencer reports. (Published Sunday, May 25, 2014)

    A bottle bomb exploded over the weekend at the AMC movie theater in Tysons Corner, Virginia -- the second time at that facility and the third such incident in the region recently.

    Around 2 a.m. Sunday, a chemical device detonated inside theater 1 after bouncing off a metal railing, said Deputy Chief Mike Reilly of Fairfax County Fire.

    Two people reported that they were splashed with some kind of liquid, but were not hurt.

    Close to 300 people were evacuated from the theater. Other theaters in the facility were searched, but not evacuated. No other devices were found.

    An AMC spokesman issued a statement Sunday afternoon:

    "These actions, which cause panic among large groups of people, are unacceptable, and we will press charges to the fullest extent without hesitation. We are working closely with law enforcement at the local and federal level, and we have provided our surveillance system footage to law enforcement to assist in developing any possible leads or persons of interest. We remain vigilant in preventing further incidents, and have reviewed with local AMCs about what steps to take to help ensure the safety of everyone at the theatre. We have also briefed all theatre operators in the area

    AMC will reach out to the local crime solvers agency as soon as possible to set up a $25,000 reward to anyone who provides information that directly leads to the capture of those responsible."

    Last Sunday, two chemical devices detonated in theaters 3 and 8. The Fairfax County Fire Department is investigating to see if the two incidents are connected.

    Fire officials believe they were plastic bottles filled with acid and metals, which react with each other and explode. They may have been mixed on-site, said Deputy Chief Mike Reilly of the Fairfax County fire marshal's office.

    A similar incident occured Saturday night at the AMC Magic Johnson Capitol Center theaters in Largo, Maryland. Witnesses said a bottle bomb exploded inside a theater, and people were evacuated. No one was hurt.

    Investigators said those bottles were filled with chemicals and metal and they consider it a possible act of terrorism.