Detonation spreads mercury in Yakima parking lot

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YAKIMA — A suspicious device that was detonated by a Washington State Patrol bomb squad Thursday night in a Yakima parking lot spewed liquid mercury over the area.

Environmental Protection Agency investigators detected the mercury over the weekend. Scene coordinator Kathy Parker estimated it was less than half a cup but it's a hazard if it is spread in the air and breathed.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports about 8,000 square feet of the parking lot were paved with fresh asphalt to contain the contamination.

The device was described as a small plastic water bottle tightly wrapped with tape. Police said there had been a series of blasts Thursday night from devices made with household chemicals.