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Tacna man loses leg in pipe bomb explosion
A 31-year-old Tacna man has been hospitalized after losing a leg in a pipe bomb explosion.
According to Yuma County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Eben Bratcher, at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, the sheriff's office received a report of an injured person at a residence in the 37600 block of East County 8th Street. The initial report said the person may have shot himself in the foot.
When deputies arrived on scene, they found Kobey Coulter with severe wounds to his lower legs. After receiving medical treatment he was transported from the site to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix via air ambulance.
Deputies later found evidence that an explosion had occurred inside a Conex box (shipping container), which is within walking distance of the home on the property. They also found other materials used to make pipe bombs.
“We don't know what caused the pipe bomb to detonate, but based on the explosion pattern and the injury (Coulter) sustained, it went off on the ground next to his left foot.” Bratcher said. “I don't think he intended for this thing to go off. This was an accidental discharge. When you play with pipe bombs you run that risk.”
Bratcher said the Conex box was secured until the Yuma County Regional Bomb Squad could secure a search warrant for the container.
“(The explosion) actually blew a hole in the bottom of the Conex box,” Bratcher said.
On Thursday the bomb squad obtained the warrant and searched the shipping container, where deputies found another pipe bomb and additional material used to make them. Deputies removed the items and rendered them safe.
Since the making of improvised explosive devices is illegal, Bratcher said the sheriff's office will review the case to determine whether to file any charges against Coulter.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.