A car stolen yesterday in New Jersey was gutted last night at National Airport by a fire and apparent explosion triggered by an "incendiary device," authorities said. No injuries were reported.
Federal authorities said the car, a 1977 two-door Renault, had been stolen yesterday from its owner, George Horn, of Browns Mills, N.J., which is about a three-hour drive from Washington.
Horn said FBI agents told him that after disposing of stolen vehivles, thieves sometimes burn them to destroy possible fingerprint evidence.
Reached by telephone at his home, Horn said he and his wife had gone to a shopping mall where they watched a movie "The next thing we know," he said, "we go to leave and . . .no car."
Federal investigators said the car apparently was soaked with gasoline that was ignited by a device under the vehicle's hood. The device included a timer, wired to a battery, authorities said.
The fire began about 6:15 p.m. in parking lot No. 2. The driver of a passing Metrobus heard an explosion. The inside of the car was gutted and an adjacent car was slightly damaged, officials said. Traffic was diverted for more than an hour, and authorities launched an investigation.
As part of the probe, investigators brought specially trained dogs last night to the parking lot to check for explosives.
There was no indication that anything was found in the lot, which is several hundred yards from the main airport terminal. CAPTION: Picture, An incendiary device was blamed for fire that destroyed interior of this car parked at National Airport. By Fred Sweets-The Washington Post