Video: Meth Lab Explosion Near School Was Total Surprise

By Will Godfrey 10/06/11

The growing popularity of the "one-pot" method of cooking meth makes it an increasingly dangerous occupation.

One-pot method is simple and risky. Photo via

An innocuous-looking suburban house was the unexpected source of a loud explosion in Lafayette, Indiana, on Monday night. Neighbors who were woken by the blast reported noticing no suspicious activity beforehand: "There's not [normally] a lot of ruckus around here," one comments. A man was sent to the hospital for chemical burns, and police arrested 26-year-old Steven Hanna for manufacturing meth. A chemical smell lingered in the air nearby for at least 24 hours afterward. The fact that the meth lab was within 1,000 feet of a school increases Hanna's potential sentence from 20 to 50 years. The "one-pot" method of cooking meth which was used in this lab has recently grown in popularity in Indiana and nationwide. Also known as "shake and bake," the technique involves pouring all the ingredients into one small container, such as a two-liter soda bottle. The advantage of this is that only relatively small amounts of the cold medicine pseudoephedrine are needed, sidestepping state laws created to regulate its sale. The disadvantage is the increased likelihood of explosions and chemical fires, caused by the proximity of the ingredients to a potential source of ignition. The one-pot method is also popular in mobile meth labs, such as one discovered during a routine traffic stop in Georgia last weekend.


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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.