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Butane hash oil causes explosion: police say more to come

By Bonnie Silkman , Weekend GMC Anchor / Reporter , bonnie.silkman@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 01:47:56 PM CST

Butane Hash Oil Apartment Explosion

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

An explosion knocks out windows of an apartment and police say blasts like this will happen again in Colorado Springs.

That’s because people are trying to make a potent marijuana extract using a highly flammable material.

Colorado Springs Police say that's what caused a blast at Westview apartments at University and Airport.

51-year-old Lee Brown was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession manufacturing of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment.

"Out of nowhere we heard this big old boom and glass shattered," said a resident at the apartment complex.

It was an explosion that could be just the beginning of many more.

"I don't recall an incident like this prior to marijuana becoming legal. It's literally like manufacturing an explosive," said Lt. Mike Hunt, with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

We spoke with the narcotics investigator about this dangerous activity that seems to be picking up speed.

He had to hide his identity because he investigates scenes undercover.

"It certainly happen at any time because of the availably of the product, marijuana is now legal so your main indigent or all of the ingredients to do this are readily available," said Hunt.

Not only is it illegal to make it on your property, but it's also incredibly dangerous

"The process of extracting that oil is dangerous, and using the butane because it's highly flammable. Any little spark or flame and we can see what the outcome can be," said Hunt.

To make things worse it's hard to detect, without any smell.

And it can be made just about anywhere.

"It can be done in a very small area, any type of small room or a vehicle, wherever. I'm hoping we don't see more of it obviously, because of the dangers not only to the people who are doing it, but to neighbors and especially if it’s an apartment and the surrounding public," said Hunt.

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