Exclusive: Girl burned by 'Drano bomb' on Harlem playground speaks out

Josh Einiger Image
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Two liquid bomb attacks in Harlem in two days
Josh Einiger reports from Harlem.

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 12-year-old girl having fun on a playground suffered severe burns when a bottle she kicked exploded in Harlem Thursday, it was just one of two attacks in as many days.

The plastic bottle was apparently filled with the drain cleaner Drano, and authorities are trying to figure out who left it on the ground and why.

Meanwhile, the girl and her mother spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News, though neither wished to be identified.

The girl had seen younger boys on the playground near her school mixing and pouring the liquid just a few minutes earlier, but she had no idea what they were doing until she kicked the bottle she saw on the ground.

It's a teen prank with adult consequences.

In video Thursday night you see one teenager, then a second running. Then a third throws a 20-ounce Sprite bottle on the sidewalk and he too runs in another attack.

Then comes Nicky Ramos.

"I'm walking and then I just heard this big boom, it sounded like an M-80," Ramos said. "And then I just felt liquid all over me."

It's the second attack in central Harlem in two days.

"It hurts when I'm sleeping because the bandages still pull on the wounds, so it feels like my skin is getting pulled off," another victim said.

In an Eyewitness News exclusive, the 12-year-old girl described her ordeal when she kicked a bottle.

Cops told her family it was filled with highly toxic Drano. She was severely burned.

Police are worried it's the start of a trend, teens looking to YouTube to learn about so-called Drano bombs.

Her mom told Eyewitness News Reporter Jim Dolan other parents should be aware.

"My main issue is to get the word out so, being aware of this new chemical bomb these children are creating copying off YouTube," the victim's mother said.

"See, I saw someone running, okay and then yup, wow," Ramos said as she watched the video of her attack.

Fortunately in her case, the bottle was filled with some other chemical. Her burns were very minor.

But she's furious about that 12-year-old girl, whose mother says will be scarred for life.

"To me it's just unfathomable. How you could do something like that and think it's funny and it's okay?" Ramos said. "It's just, nothing warrants this behavior."

so far, no arrests have been made in either incident.