Legal explosive caused big boom in WNY

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 18:46:50-04

About 14-60 pounds of Tannerite created an explosion in Genesee County over the weekend.

The explosion happened on Dodgeson Road in Alexander, between Wortendyke Road and Route 98. Genesee County Sheriff's deputies say no one was hurt in the explosion and their investigation continues.

In the meantime 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Justin Moore went to Niagara Gun Range to find out exactly what is Tannerite and how it works. Niagara Gun Range Owner Dennis Deasy says Tannerite is very harmless and noisy.

He describes it as two binary compounds people used at shooting ranges to get visual and audible effects. Tannerite is ammonium nitrate mixed with aluminum powder. It’s cheap and usually comes packaged separately at outdoor stores.

“I’ve sold a lot of this stuff and to the best of my knowledge has anybody used it in a manner it was not intended for,” Deasy said.

However, he said it’s unusual for a person to use 14-60 pounds of Tannerite in one explosion.

“People might do stupid things because there are stupid people out there that do stupid things. We all know them and we’ve all seen them,” Deasy said.

Tannerite is not regulated in the State of New York. State Senator Jack Martins from Long Island, N.Y. has been trying to get the explosive banned. 7EWN reached out to Senator Martins for comment, but he did not respond by time this story aired.

Deasy said more laws aren't the answer.

“We got all kinds of rules and regulations and restrictions and we still have stupid people doing stupid things,” Deasy said.