Authorities are investigating why three bottles containing ingredients used to make methamphetamine were found outside an Oceano mobile-home park on Friday.
A maintenance worker from the Rancho Del Arroyo Park on the 2700 block of Cienaga Street escaped injury Friday afternoon after two of the bottles he picked up off the ground exploded while on his ATV.
“It just sounded like a large boom. Like a car backfiring, but louder,” resident Angela Chase said of the explosions. Chase lives in the home on the opposite side of the fence, where the third bottle rested.
Residents in the mobile home park were alarmed by the incident because their children often play outside.
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Chase’s son and younger brother were at school during the explosions, she said, for which she was thankful.
The maintenance man, whose name was not disclosed and who declined to comment, was working outside the park at 11:27 a.m. when he came across the discarded soda and juice bottles, according to authorities. The bottles were filled with an unknown substance, and the man placed two of them in the back of his four-wheeler.
He had driven approximately 150 feet when one of the bottles exploded, “showering the man with some of the liquid,” according to officials. It likely exploded, they said, because the bottles were jostled in the drive.
The man jumped out of the cart and dialed 911. As he was dialing, a second bottle exploded.
Medics cleaned the man off, and he didn’t appear to be injured. Officials advised him to seek follow-up medical treatment.
The third container, the largest of the three, appeared to be a 64-ounce juice bottle. It remained on the grass after the two explosions.
Authorities safely discarded its contents.
Initial investigation indicates that the bottles were part of a methamphetamine lab operation that were discarded on the side of the road, officials said, possibly from a moving vehicle.
Cienaga Street is also Highway 1 as it runs through Oceano.
Narcotics teams believe the bottles were filled with ingredients used to make methamphetamine because of the color of the substance and the remains of a lithium battery strip found in one container.
It took most of Friday afternoon to clean up.
Responding agencies included the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit, the California Department of Justice Task Force and the Oceano Fire Department.