Two schools closed after ‘suspicious item’ explodes in elementary school parking lot, sends adult to hospital

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REDMOND — Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a suspicious item — later identified as a two-liter bottle — that exploded in an elementary school parking lot, injuring a school bus driver walking by.

The King County Sheriff’s Office tweeted about the explosion at 8:12 a.m. Monday.

The explosion occurred in a parking lot at Emily Dickinson Elementary near the intersection of Union Hill Road and 208th Avenue NE in Redmond.

According to Kathryn Rieth of the Lake Washington School District, the device was found around 7:30 a.m. and there were no kids around, as school hadn’t started yet. A bus driving was walking past the bottle when it exploded, school officials said, exposing the driver to fumes and slightly injuring them with something that flew out of the bottle.

The injuries were not serious, officials said. No property damage was reported. Deputies later said the device was an “acid bomb,” a crude device commonly used by juveniles.

Classes at Dickinson Elementary and connected Explorer Elementary School were cancelled as a precaution for the day following the explosion. Nearby Evergreen Middle School was on modified lockdown and police were searching the campus to make sure no devices were at the school. Kids who were on their way to either elementary school via bus can be picked up by parents at the Evergreen Middle School gym, school officials said.

The superintendent of Lake Washington School District, Dr. Traci Pierce, said there was “zero reason” to believe there were more bottles on any other campus. She said there were many rumors floating about, but reiterated that everyone was indeed safe.

Police are still actively investigating the situation.

 

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10 comments

  • John

    When I was a kid, we called this a “prank”. Today it’s called “terrorism” and the school gets to go on lockdown and make excuses for not accomplishing anything today. Nation of wimps.

  • Carrie Duran

    People are still grieving and concerned about sending their children to school since it was only a week ago kids died in a school shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck high school which is about 45 minutes away from Redmond. Stuff like this should not be considered a prank.

  • Stan

    It very well could be considered a “prank”, albeit a poorly timed and malicious one. Sometimes people do dumb things and people get hurt. Doesn’t mean it was intended to hurt anyone, it was just dumb.

  • Bobbi Jo Brooks

    You also have to remember we are still healing from the senseless tragedy at Marysville Pilchuck less than 2 weeks ago in Washington. Where it may seem like a childish prank to you John, it is yet another devastating blow to an already hurting community who really just wants to heal and let our children feel safe at school again.