Two York City man injured Tuesday night when a pipe bomb they were making exploded had no malicious intentions, York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said.

"They were putting it together for fun, but it backfired on them," he said. "People don't realize how dangerous it is, and how unstable gunpowder can be."

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated, along with York City Detective Kyle Hower.

Once it was determined the men had no plans to harm anyone with the device, the federal agency turned the investigation back over to York City Police, the chief said.

No ill intent: "Just because someone puts a pipe bomb together doesn't mean they're going to go bomb someone," Kahley said.

According to Kahley, Daniel Kushla, 23, and Jake Ritchie, 22, both of 311 Smyser St., were assembling the homemade explosive device when it blew up about 8:40 p.m.

One of the men suffered a serious hand injury, and the other suffered facial injuries, the chief said. They were taken to York Hospital, he said.

Kushla was in serious condition Wednesday afternoon, according to hospital spokesman Barry Sparks, who said Ritchie was transferred to another medical facility.

The men's home also was damaged.

"(The blast) blew out some windows of the home and damaged the side of the home," Kahley said, adding there was no structural damage.


Charges expected: The chief said he expects charges will be filed against the men because it's illegal to make pipe bombs -- even if there is no malicious intent.

"We want to do a thorough investigation first," he said.

Kahley said it's troubling how easy it is to find bomb-making instructions.

"A small amount of knowledge can be very dangerous," he said.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at