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BROOKFIELD Explosion hurts 2 men, leaves crater



Published: Thu, July 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



An investigator said the blast was heard for miles.

BROOKFIELD -- Fire investigators think it was a homemade explosive device that left a crater in the ground at 759 Albright-McKay Road N.E. Wednesday night and injured two 19-year-old men, both of whom were taken by helicopter to Pittsburgh hospitals.

Jason Nicoloff of 447 Butterfly Lane, Hermitage, was in critical condition in Allegheny General Hospital with multiple injuries to his face, arms and legs. Officials said the blast threw him about 10 feet.

Luke Forrest of Saranac Drive, Sharpsville, who suffered facial injuries, was in stable condition in Mercy Hospital.

Brookfield fire Capt. Mike Hapgood said Nicoloff had very severe injuries to one arm and leg.

What authorities found: "When we got to the scene we were told that Mr. Forrest was bleeding very badly from his face and got in his car and left. We found Mr. Nicoloff lying in the back yard. He was in a lot of pain, and all he could say was, 'This exploded.'" Hapgood said.

The captain said investigators do not think the device was commercially produced. He wasn't sure this morning what materials were in the device.

Robert Sharp of the state fire marshal's office was on the scene this morning, along with other investigators.

Party going on: The blast occurred about 10:26 p.m. during a young people's backyard party. The adult occupants of the residence were not home at the time and other partygoers were not outside, Hapgood said.

The blast was heard for miles, an investigator said.

Forrest drove himself to Sharon Regional Health Center; Nicoloff was taken by ambulance. They were flown to Pittsburgh from there.




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