Reporting gaffe? How can something be detonated if you don't know whether it's explosive?

Yes, this quickie news hit really implies both things:

A bomb squad has detonated four suspected explosive devices found under a bed in a hotel room in Springfield in western Ohio.

[snip]

It isn’t known how long the items were there or whether they contained any explosive material.

Can you really detonate something that isn’t explosive???

3 thoughts on “Reporting gaffe? How can something be detonated if you don't know whether it's explosive?

  1. I haven’t thanked the few, the proud, the WLST readers enough lately, have I?Thanks to both Anon the First and Paul, as well as the handful of emails I’ve received setting me straight.See – I don’t think I know everything (I leave that to my kids).

  2. Anon is exactly right. It is safer to blown up a suspected explosive device with your own explosives and detonators than it is to try to figure out how to trigger the denotator on the device. The latter requires fiddling around with the innards of the device, which might well be booby-trapped.PL

  3. Can you really detonate something that isn’t explosive???I’m guessing the bomb squad placed a small explosive charge near each of the objects and detonated that. If an object is actually a bomb, detonation of the charge would probably destroy the bomb (or cause it to explode).

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