Homemade explosive accidentally detonates


Leander police are investigating a local man who was hurt while making homemade explosives at his house when some of the materials caught fire and caused an explosion Saturday evening, according to a police spokesperson. 

Leander police were called to the 700 block of Newcastle Lane around 7:20 p.m. by Steven Aldrich, 60, requesting help with injuries he sustained from an explosion at his home.

Austin-Travis County EMS brought Aldrich to St. David's Round Rock Medical Center with serious but non life-threatening injuries. 

The remaining explosive materials were detonated at the home because they were unsafe to be taken away from the scene, police said.

All of the residents surrounding the suspect’s home were temporarily evacuated before the detonation.

No arrests have been made and charges are pending. Officials declined to provide comments on the specifics of the explosives at this time. 

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Leander Fire Department, the FBI, Williamson County EMS, the Austin police bomb squad and Austin-Travis County EMS all responded. 

Police carried out a search warrant at Aldrich's house back in July 2015 after responding to his home for an explosion. Leander officers said at that time that Aldrich would be charged with two counts of prohibited weapon, for having a short-barrel rifle and an explosive weapon, and also with one count of components of explosives. According to his plea agreement, Aldrich received eight years of probation for possession of a prohibited weapon and was ordered to not use explosives and firearms during his probation.

Leander police said at this time they don't think the man was planning to use the explosives to hurt anyone but the investigation is still ongoing.