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Post date: June 4 1999

A.G. Stops Sale Of Exploding Toy In Syracuse Area

Attorney General Spitzer's regional office in Syracuse today announced that it is working with local merchants to remove from shelves a novelty exploding toy that has disrupted local classrooms and school bus service and could pose a threat to public safety.

The 25-cent novelty, marketed under the name "Bomb Bag," is a three-inch-square foil pouch filled with baking soda and vinegar. When the "Bomb Bag" is squeezed, the ingredients mix together causing it to swell and explode in about five seconds with a loud bang.

There have been numerous reports of "Bomb Bags" disrupting local school activities.

"We cannot condone the sale of this product, especially in the wake of recent tragic incidents at schools across the nation," Spitzer said. "I call on merchants in the Syracuse area to pull these items off their shelves. This product is insensitive at best and clearly a public safety hazard in some circumstances."

Spitzer cited several instances in the Syracuse area in which "Bomb Bags" were tossed under school buses, scaring riders and bus drivers. There have also been instances where "Bomb Bags" were lobbed into local classrooms, causing panic among students and teachers.

Assistant Attorney General Winthrop Thurlow, head of the Attorney General's Syracuse regional office, recently met with numerous local merchants selling "Bomb Bags" and secured from them assurances they will immediately stop selling the product.

"We told local store owners that ‘Bomb Bags' violate a state law prohibiting the marketing of products to children that pose chemical, thermal or mechanical hazards," said Thurlow. "And they agreed to pull it from their shelves."

One advertisement for "Bomb Bags" tells prospective buyers they can use the product to "clear out a theater to get the best seat" or "simulate a drive-by shooting." Noting that "Bomb Bags" are sold in packages of four for a dollar, the advertisement notes "that should keep you in trouble for a while."

"Bomb Bags" are made in Taiwan. There have been no reported "Bomb Bag" incidents in New York outside the greater Syracuse area.