NEW SHARON — A blast heard and felt Monday night near the Starks Road and Industry Road was caused by someone legally exploding a large container of material used for firearms practice, Assistant Fire Chief Jason Lunt wrote on the New Sharon Fire Department’s Facebook page.

Given there have been two major explosions in the past seven months in Franklin County, one in Farmington last September that killed a firefighter and one at a paper mill in Jay this month, it may have put people on edge.

Fire officers investigated the New Sharon blast in conjunction with a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy.

“Everything and everyone is safe. No need to worry,” Lunt wrote.

The explosive, Tannerite, consists of two separate components, usually an oxidizer like ammonium nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website. These components typically are not listed separately on the List of Explosive Materials and do not meet the definition of “Explosives,” according to law. Therefore, ATF does not regulate the sale and distribution of these component chemicals, even when sold together in binary “kits.”

Tannerite brand targets explode when shot by a high-velocity bullet.


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