Two Ontario Men Injured After Detonating Homemade Bombs

Ontario, OR – Police are investigating how two men ended up in critical condition Sunday, with serious burns and life-threatening injuries.

Officers with the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, Nampa Bomb Squad, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) allege the two men – 60-year-old Drex Brooks and 59-year-old Mark Brinton from Ontario – were responsible for the makeshift bomb blasts that ultimately caused their injuries.

The men detonated an explosive device in a secluded area west of Vale near the Bully Creek Reservoir before 7:30 pm Sunday, whereupon both sustained life-threatening injuries in the blast and required being flown to hospitals in Portland and Boise.

The surrounding area was searched and a warrant was issued on the residence they share at 1200 block of Southwest Third Avenue, where authorities discovered bomb-making materials and instructions.

The Nampa Bomb Squad reported finding several blast sites and one undetonated explosive about three miles north of the Bully Creek Reservoir in an unpopulated desert area.

Authorities found evidence of several devices made from plastic pipes, garden hoses, and cardboard tubes. The specific type of explosive compound used was not disclosed.

Brooks is listed in serious condition at a Portland hospital, and Brinton is in critical condition at a Boise hospital. Once the men have medically stabilized, authorities will interview them to determine the intent behind the homemade devices.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon Explosions, authorities are taking any event involving a makeshift device very seriously. Monday afternoon, Patriots Day, two bombs exploded within 12 seconds of one another near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Authorities, thus far, assess one of the devices was housed in a pressure cooker hidden within a backpack, containing shrapnel of nails, BBs, and ball bearings. As a result of the bombs used, three people, including an 8-year-old cheering along his father in the race, were killed, and over 180 people were wounded.

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