Archive for Friday, September 7, 2007

Device explodes at Leavenworth alternative high school

September 7, 2007

— A suspicious device that was being dismantled exploded Thursday afternoon at Leavenworth's alternative high school.

Students had been evacuated after the device was found about 10:30 a.m. No one was injured.

The device was found in an office by staff at North Broadway Education Center, said Maj. Pat Kitchens with the Leavenworth Police Department. It went off while members of the Leavenworth County Bomb Squad were trying to dismantle it, breaking some glass but causing no other damage, he said.

The technicians were using a device that shoots water at a high velocity, trying to separate the device's components. Kitchens said "99 percent of time" it defuses the explosive but "in this incident it caused the device to go off."

Police were not releasing details about the type of device while the investigation continues, he said.

Catey Edwards, communications coordinator for Leavenworth School District, said offivials,m while evaluating the damage, had raised some concerns about the possibility of a second device. Precautions were taken, and no second device was discovered.

Students were sent to David Brewer Elementary School, where they were allowed to arrange rides home.

Friday classes at North Broadway have been canceled, Edwards said. The school, which serves about 100 students, provides diploma completion and credit recovery programs.

Edwards did not know how many students were in the building at the time of the explosion.

Edwards said the Leavenworth Police Department and the school district would begin an investigation to identify the individual responsible.

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