COLUMBUS, Ind. — Police think an explosion inside a pickup truck Monday night in East Columbus was caused by chemicals associated with manufacturing methamphetamine.
The explosion was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of South Brooks Street.
Columbus Police Patrolwoman Sarah Goins responded and found a pickup truck parked at a residence with its windows broken and smoke coming from the interior.
She also could smell a strong chemical odor coming from the truck and saw items that are used to produce meth inside, said Lt. Matt Myers, spokesman for the police department.
Other officers shut down the street for about three hours while narcotics detectives investigated. They obtained a search warrant for the truck and found a fire extinguisher that had been altered to transport anhydrous ammonia, which police think caused the explosion.
Anhydrous ammonia is a chemical fertilizer used in farm fields and used illegally to make meth. Myers said officers also found other chemicals and containers in the truck.
The driver of the truck was not with the vehicle when police arrived, but investigators think they have identified the vehicle's owner and are looking for that person.
Myers said the police department places a priority on enforcing drug laws and investigating suspected criminal activity such as Monday night's explosion.
"We are service oriented, but our main focus is preventing criminal activity and investigating that," he said.
Anyone with information on possible criminal activity can report it to the police department by calling 376-2600. Tips can be made anonymously.
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