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Target Explosions

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BAYOU SORREL - An explosive combination is causing a scene in Iberville Parish.

A product marketed as explosive targets mixes ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder to create targets for firearms practice.

Problem is people are using them in large amounts, said Iberville Sheriff's Office Major Johnnie Blanchard. One such explosion rocked Bayou Sorrel Monday around 7 p.m.

A woman who didn't want News 2 to use her name and lives off Highway 75 in Iberville Parish said the blast vibrated her house.

"I have relatives that probably live a mile and a half down the road from me. They heard it clearly," she said. "It was an explosion like I've never heard before."

"It's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt," Blanchard said.

Complaints from residents who have heard the blasts for months have flooded the office. But since the product is legal, his hands are tied.

"Like to see it banned because of the problems it causing us with the calls putting people in hysterics thinking something is wrong," Blanchard said.

But to Scott Rowe, owner of Spillway Sportsman in Port Allen and explosive target dealer, the only thing wrong with the product is that people misuse it.

"Guys will come in and buy two three four of these and they'll mix them up and tape them together and they'll shoot it," Rowe said. "It gives a pretty loud explosion."

Rowe knows the potential harm the exploding targets pose. He'd even like to see them regulated more closely.

But that doesn't mean he's taking the booming item off his shelves.

"A lot of people buy fireworks and cut the gun powder out of them and make one big boom, same principle as this," he said.



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