A couple taking their daily walk in a neighborhood west of Hampstead found a homemade explosive device early yesterday, state police said.
"It is the most dangerous type of explosive device you can handle, because [it is] unpredictable," said bomb expert Deputy Fire Marshal Jack Waldner, after the device was found on Weaver Lane near Coon Club Road yesterday morning.
State police said the improvised explosive device contained six shotgun shells wrapped with black plastic friction tape around a PVC connector holding several .22-caliber and .32-caliber live cartridges.
Investigators said the device did not explode, but was burned, allowing the pellets from several shotgun shells to spill on the roadway. There are no homes in the section of Weaver Lane where the device was found, officials said.
Mr. Waldner said the device would be examined at the state police crime laboratory. It was powerful enough to have killed or seriously injury anyone within the immediate area had it exploded, he said.
Anyone with information about the device should call state police at 848-3111 or the fire marshal's office at (800) 492-7529.