November 7, 2018 5:09 pm
Updated: November 7, 2018 5:36 pm

Tannerite reportedly found at Sherwood Park explosion scene. What is it?

WATCH ABOVE: RCMP Supt. Dave Kalist confirmed there were explosions in a Sherwood Park community centre parkade Tuesday evening and that a suspect died - not from any police action.

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Global News has learned that a substance normally used for rifle targets was found at the site of an explosion in Sherwood Park, Alta. on Tuesday night.

A “significant… very large” amount of Tannerite was reportedly found in a car outside the Strathcona County civic office. Security sources told Global News the device seems to be a “homemade” vehicle-born improvised explosive device.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Man, 21, dead after blast led police to car packed with explosives in Sherwood Park

Binary targets are a mixture of two components—for example, ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder—that are commonly used for rifle targets. When shot, they produce a large bang and puff of smoke.

According to the Tannerite company website, the binary targets fall under the same federal laws as black powder and all other explosives “that are exempt for sporting purposes from the [U.S.] federal regulations of commercial explosives in their unmixed form.”

WATCH: Strathcona County RCMP discuss the potential motive, possible future charges, the investigation and the age of the suspect killed in the explosion.

The company warns users that just because it’s legal, it doesn’t mean it can be used in any manner.

The company also warns users not to shoot targets larger than one pound, unless required due to “extreme long-range competition.”

Users are also warned to never place the targets “inside, on top of, or under any metal, rock, or other surfaces that could produce flying debris or sparks, or within another object,” calling those actions “dangerous.”

WATCH: RCMP Supt. Dave Kalist says public safety is the first priority but understands why the delay in information may have been frustrating. Police believe the threat is localized to the community centre.


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According to the Natural Resources Canada website, binary kits/exploding targets are legal and subject to federal laws. Under the 2013 Explosives Regulations, the government states anyone buying a binary kit must have a fireworks operator certificate – pyrotechnician or a licence issued under the Firearms Act.

READ MORE: Few details released as ‘fluid investigation’ at Sherwood Park community centre continues

Sellers must also have a magazine licence and cannot display the kits for sale. Unlicensed users may not store more than 20 kg of high hazard special purpose explosives, including binary kits, in a storage locker.

Licensed users storing more than 20 kg must have a magazine licence.

WATCH: Mayor Rod Frank thanks the RCMP and emergency responders for their work in the wake of terrifying moments at the community centre.

Binary kit ingredients must be mixed at the place of use and cannot be transported or stored once mixed.

READ MORE: ‘It blew my leg off’: Georgia man injured after shooting lawnmower packed with explosives

Tannerite was also reportedly found in the car of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, according to the Las Vegas Police Department. Reuters also reported that it was located in the New York bombings in September 2016.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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