Several search hits on “explosion” “New York” and “Pennsylvania” encouraged me to check to see if any new mystery booms were reported. And, sure enough, as frequently happens on the last day of the year or New Year’s Eve, we have a big boom reported:
People from Owego to Broome County reported feeling an explosion noise around 5 p.m. Saturday.
No earthquakes were measured (even of tiny magnitude). Contrary to a few rumors, it was not heard across hundreds of miles. But, depending on the way the wind blow, it could possibly have been across 100 miles or so into PA. Also, residents may have heard other sounds and mistakenly attributed them to the same cause.
The location was reported at Tioga Center, NY, west of Binghamton and a few miles north of the Pennsylvania border. This is a relatively rural area. The most likely source was fireworks or an explosion of tannerite. Tannerite is an explosive mixture used as a highly visible indicator that you’ve hit the target with your rifle. It blows up dramatically on impact of the bullet generating a loud boom and a cloud of debris.
A yellow cloud was also reported by a few witnesses, according to the news report, which lends support to the conclusion it was someone blowing something up.
Such reports are very common but people do get concerned when the explosions are loud and unexpected. Typically, no cause is definitively determined. But sometimes they are. Back in January of 2013 near this same location, police determined a tannerite explosion was the cause of a similar report. And it happened in Idaho on Dec 30, 2014.
So, I’d say that’s a good bet. Tannerite is not illegal.
Happy Boom Year.