Children injured by homemade bottle bombs say they learned how to make the devices from the television series "MacGyver," but the producers of the series deny that claim.
At least eight youngsters in the Baltimore area have been seriously hurt by the bombs in separate incidents.The youngsters told authorities they got the idea for the bombs from an episode of the ABC series that first was broadcast in November and was recently repeated.
The latest victim, Kevin Hines, 11, remained in hospital Friday after his eye was badly burned by a bottle bomb on March 15.
"The show's producers have no knowledge that such a device was ever used in an episode, and they've always taken great care never to divulge a complete formula so it could be duplicated at home," Carol Ames, spokeswoman for Paramount Pictures, said Friday.
"They didn't learn the formula from the show `Mac-Gyver,' " she said.
The hero of the series draws on his knowledge of chemistry, physics and mechanics to make jury-rigged devices to get himself out off tight spots.
Deputy State Fire Marshall Bob Thomas said it is possible the children were inspired by the show, but found most of the instructions to make the bombs elsewhere.
"Kids are picking up parts of the material from the `MacGyver' show and they're also picking up parts from ordinary chemistry books or underground text books on the manufacture of homemade explosives," Thomas said.