FREMONT -- A Tenergy executive said his heart sank Wednesday morning when he saw an online photo of a battery made by his company attached to an explosive device used in the Boston bombings.

Benjamin Mull said the 2-inch-long battery's role in the carnage Monday had cast a pall over the Fremont company and its 80 employees.

"We were appalled that our product was used in such a horrible and senseless way," he said. "Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we're hoping the perpetrator is caught quickly."

The pair of pressure cooker bombs packed with nails and other shrapnel exploded near the Boston Marathon's finish line. It killed three people and injured 176 others.

Mull said the Sub-C 3000mAh nickel metal hydride battery, the type used in the bombings, is most often used by hobbyists in toys such as radio-controlled cars and trucks.

"It's a terrible twist that something that's supposed to provide joy for people was used in such a terrible way," he said.

The 1.25-volt battery is manufactured in China and its packaging is assembled in Fremont. The battery, which sells for a few dollars each, can be found online and in hobby stores and specialty-battery shops, Mull said. Tens of thousands of that type of battery were sold last year, but it is not the company's best-seller, he said.


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Tenergy designs, manufactures and distributes dozens of types of lithium- and nickel-based batteries for medical, hobby, consumer and industrial uses. Founded in Santa Clara in 2004, the company four years ago moved into a 30,000-square-foot facility in south Fremont.

Roger Serafin, an employee at Nor-Cal Hobbies in Union City, said the hobby store carries Tenergy batteries but not the type used in the bombings. "(The Sub-C 3000mAh) batteries sometimes are used to ignite gas-powered, remote-controlled cars, and they're rechargeable," Serafin said. "If it's fully charged, that battery can last more than a week. It can hold that charge until you need it."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.