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Batarang knives were among the dangerous projectiles in Macomb County explosion

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 05, 2024

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Macomb County photographer Adam Sheehan told 7 Action News that he saw "at least a dozen or so" batarang knives in the grass at the Macomb County explosion site Tuesday morning.

He went to take photos of the wreckage after Monday night, Clinton Township fire crews battled a massive fire at an industrial building. The explosive fire sent projectiles flying into the air.

clinton township explosion debris
Debris and damage from March 4, 2024, explosions in Clinton Township.

On Tuesday, Sheehan said there were "thousands of nitro tanks scattered."

He said the knives, "were all wide open — both ends of the knives. So the first thing I thought was that whoever was close by was cheating death."

Clinton Township Fire Department Chief Tim Duncan confirmed with our team that the knives were among the flying debris Monday.

clinton township explosion debris
Debris from March 4, 2024, explosions in Clinton Township.

"We didn’t really notice them until we got further into the scene and had the fire under control," Duncan said. "Closer to the fire building, they’re discovering these knives. They basically look like the Batman logo with the blades on the side."

Duncan said the various projectiles were flying "everywhere" Monday night.

clinton township explosion debris
Debris from March 4, 2024, explosions in Clinton Township.

A 19-year-old who was at least a quarter mile away from the fire tragically died after being hit in the head by one of the projectiles.

A firefighter sustained minor injuries after being hit.

Duncan shared that their team was constantly working to keep people wanting to take pictures and video of the explosion back.

"We tried as hard as we could to keep people back but with that area being so vast and it’s four corners of a major intersection, it becomes difficult," Duncan said.

A day later, the flames are gone and the air is clear, but the chief said the danger is still present. Although the projectiles are on the ground, some can still do harm.

clinton township explosion debris
Debris from March 4, 2024, explosions in Clinton Township.

Our team witnessed a person picking up one of the canisters and putting it in their car, seemingly as a sort of souvenir.

"Certainly any of the ones that might still be full would be an extreme danger," Duncan said. "It really is not worth anybody’s well-being to pick that stuff up."

The chief asked that people leave any explosion remnants on the ground for first responders to clean up.