He said that Harvey had been assembling the bomb by stuffing a section of metal pipe with sulfur scraped off match books and was screwing a top on the device when it went off.
"There was just a small flash," said Brian Moore, manager of the 24-hour station. "It blew a hole in his chest. He stumbled foward and landed right in the doorway, face down. He died before the ambulance could get here."
Burton said that Harvey and his friends apparently had planned to detonate the bomb on a deserted part of the station lot.
"Most kids know how to do it - I used to make those things when I was 10 years old," said Jon-Erik Epp, the attendant on the day shift yesterday. ''Usually you put a plastic bag between the match tips and the cap so it doesn't set off accidentally before you light the fuse. It packs a blast like an M-80."
No injuries were suffered by Harvey's friends, Martin E. Daniels, 22, of the 300 block of South Balderton Drive, and Daniel A. Butts, 23, of the 100 block of Whitford Road, both in Exton. Police said that Butts, the Exxon attendant, was at the cashier's window when the explosion occurred but that there were no customers there.
Epp said that Harvey, a quiet man who had lived for about 18 months with his wife and a dog in the mobile home park, had been raised in Chester County and had been close friends with Butts and other Exxon employees for years.