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Police: Virginia theater evacuated after 'popping noises'

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 18, 2014 at 2:02 p.m.

— Authorities say someone set off two soda bottle chemical devices at a movie theater complex in northern Virginia, frightening patrons who fled after hearing what sounded like firecrackers or gunshots.

Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says no one was hurt though the theater and food court were evacuated of about 2,000 people early Sunday.

Fairfax County Police say moviegoers called 911 and reported suspicious "popping noises" around 12:15 a.m. Sunday at the AMC Tysons Corner 16 theaters. Caldwell says the investigation continues and anyone with information can contact police in Fairfax County, a Virginia suburb of the nation's capital.

Deputy Chief Mike Reilly of the Fairfax County Office of the Fire Marshal says the devices were made out of a plastic bottle with a metal and an acid inside that reacted and exploded. Similar devices can injure bystanders as a result of flying plastic when the bottle explodes or as a result of the acid inside, Reilly said.

Sunday's incident did minor damage to the theater's carpet and walls as a result of the acid, Reilly added.


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