Mail Bomb Detonates at Visalia Business

September 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A package containing as many as six pipe bombs exploded at a Visalia heating and air conditioning company on Tuesday.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wednesday Afternoon Update:

On the listed date and time the Visalia Police Department received a 911 call of an explosion at the listed location. Officers discovered that a package was delivered by the U.S. Mail, an employee opened the package, and the package detonated.

The victim received burns to the upper portion of the body and was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center by private vehicle. The wounds do not appear to be life threatening.

Since the package contained an explosive device that was delivered by the US mail, the US Postal Inspectors will take over the investigation.

If you have any information regarding the identity of the bomber, you are asked to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Tip Line 877-876-2455
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Witnesses said the co-owner of Cal-Air, Aaron Mustin suffered burns to his hands and arms in the blast. Mustin was treated at a local hospital and released Tuesday night.

Since the Post Office delivered the package, the case is now a federal investigation. A spokesperson with the Postal Inspection Service said whoever sent this small bomb through the mail will face federal felony charges.

"Apparently a package was delivered in the mail today. An employee opened that package, it detonated there seems to be some kind of explosive device that may have been inside that package," said Lt. Ed Lynn with the Visalia Police Department.

A friend of Mustin's family told Action News the victim opened a package that had come in the mail addressed to "Aaron's Air," which he said is one of the names the company uses in the phone book. Rob Reimer said Mustin opened the package to find a metal tackle box inside. He opened that and saw what looked like six PVC pipes inside. Moments later the box detonated.

A witness at a neighboring business said he saw the remains of the explosion and reported that it looked like only one of the devices in the box exploded.

Lt. Lynn said the victim was taken to the hospital in a private car. Police investigators were not sure if the family-owned business was targeted or if it was chosen at random.

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