A Buena Vista University student has been charged in connection with the detonation of a homemade bomb on campus. According to Storm Lake Police, 21-year-old Matthew Hanson of Villisca detonated the device on Monday at 10:20 p.m.
University officials were made aware of a loud noise, but it wasn’t determined by security until Tuesday afternoon that an explosive device had been detonated. Police allege Hanson constructed the device using a flameless heater from a military “Meals Ready to Eat” kit and placed it in a glass bottle.
A chemical reaction was initiated and the bottle and its contents blew up. The device was placed approximately 10 feet from Swope Hall and upon detonation spread broken glass and debris in an area approximately 15 feet in diameter.
No injuries were reported. Public Safety Director Mark Prosser says during the investigation no evidence, information, or statements were collected that in any way connected the incident to the bombing incident which occurred in Boston earlier in the day.
Hanson is charged with possession of an explosive device and reckless use of an explosive device. He was jailed on a $3,000 bond. Police were assisted in their investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the State Fire Marshal’s office, and university security.
By Ryan Thompson, KAYL, Storm Lake