Ga. Tech student burned by suspected Molotov cocktail

1:28 AM, Feb 6, 2014   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Incendiary device found in midtown Atlanta

Video: Tech student burned by Molotov cocktail

Video: Ga Tech student burned 6pm

Video: Incendiary device burns Georgia Tech student

Atlanta Fire Rescue crews were on hand as part of the investigation of an incendiary device in midtown Atlanta on Tue., Feb. 4, 2014

ATLANTA -- Investigators tell 11Alive News there is no evidence of criminal intent or any plot to do harm after a Georgia Tech graduate student was found burned in his Midtown apartment.

Atlanta police said while inside the apartment, (fire fighters) noticed what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail along with several other plastic bottles filled with liquid. According to a statement from APD: "After a search warrant was secured, SWAT cleared the apartment...and examined the liquid which was identified as gasoline and kerosene."

But officials close to the investigation told 11Alive News Wednesday that the device that caught fire may not have been a Molotov cocktail and one of the bottles may have ignited accidentally.

PHOTOS | Grad student burned by incendiary device

Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said Saamer Akhshabi suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body. Lighter fluid and a charred pillow and mattress were found inside the apartment, along with the apparent Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene.

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire-Rescue, are working to investigate the circumstances behind the incident. Homeland Security was also notified of the explosion.

Akhshabi was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. His biography on Georgia Tech's website says he's a PhD student in the school's College of Computing and attended the University of Tehran in his native Iran before coming to Georgia.

Georgia Tech released a statement Tuesday evening:

Georgia Tech is working with law enforcement to notify the victim's family. Until that notification is made, the Institute is not able to release the victim's information. We are able to confirm a Georgia Tech graduate student was involved in an incident involving a fire in a building off of 10th Street this evening. Our primary concern is to provide appropriate assistance to the victim and for his family as well as his classmates. We continue to cooperate with the investigation of (the) incident.

Residents in the area were allowed back into their homes late Tuesday evening.


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