ATF detonates explosives in cars for training in post-blast investigations

Students process post-blast scene (Source: Scott Perala)
Students process post-blast scene (Source: Scott Perala)
Post-blast scene (Source: Scott Perala)
Post-blast scene (Source: Scott Perala)

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Local first responders are applying skills learned this week to process a post-blast scene involving a car bomb.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agents detonated two vehicles Wednesday morning in Cross.

"It took a little bit of time to get everything together," said Charleston Special Agent Scott Perala. "The weather was a major factor so the students weren't able to start processing until today."

Perala said Thursday morning more than 40 first responders from law enforcement and fire agencies across the state were broken down into four teams.

These students are required to process the post-blast scene and determine what kind of device was used, what the bomb was made of and so on.

"There's crime scene tape and debris everywhere," Perala said.

After the students are done processing the scene, the teams are required to put a presentation together and explain what they found to ATF instructors.

This is part of the final exam for the "ATF Post-Blast Investigation Techniques School".

"[Through this training] all of our students here will have a better idea for when they go to a scene," said Special Agent and instructor Mark Waller. "It's very chaotic when you have a bombing scene or a large fire scene."

Students are expected to receive their certification Friday following the presentation.

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