Exploded device discovered at Montana school, no injuries

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

HELENA (AP) — Authorities found the remnants of a small homemade bomb that blew up in an elementary school playground in Helena on Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported, and it was not immediately clear when the blast occurred in Montana’s quiet capital city.

No threat was made against Rossiter Elementary school before the exploded bomb packed in a duct tape-wrapped soda bottle was found, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said. No suspect or motive was identified.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions,” Dutton said. “We’re going through it methodically and slowly, so we don’t miss something.”

School officials discovered remnants from the detonated bomb shortly before classes began for the day, blocked off the area and called police at about 8:20 a.m., Dutton said.

No property damage was reported.

Police closed the school to search the grounds for additional devices, and thousands of students across Helena and East Helena were kept inside their schools while authorities swept for bombs outside, authorities said.

The district-wide lockdown was lifted later in the morning. “Students will be able to go outside for recess and move back and forth to music and the library,” Hawthorne Elementary School principal Deb Jacobsen said in an email to parents.

Searches also were conducted at the state Capitol and government buildings, Dutton said.

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