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Small bomb explodes at Hilo High School; nobody hurt

January 30, 2014 - 3:49pm

HILO — A small bomb exploded Thursday outside an auditorium at Hilo High School, prompting a brief campus lockdown but apparently causing no injuries, authorities said.

Police said two minors were in custody. It wasn’t clear if the device was meant to hurt anyone or if it was a prank.

The small device exploded at Hilo High School on the Big Island around 11:15 a.m. and was being described as a “bottle bomb,” Hawaii Department of Education spokesman Alex Da Silva said.

It went off on a walkway leading to the auditorium, he said. A class was in session in the auditorium, but nobody was near the explosion.

Nobody was allowed to leave or enter the campus during the lockdown, but police and fire officials gave an all-clear less than two hours later after finding no other devices on campus, Da Silva said. Classes resumed and students would be let out at their normal time, he said.

Ingrid Dockersmith, whose son is a junior at the school, said she received an automated call saying the campus was under lockdown but she wasn’t worried because the message said there were no injuries.

“I’m waiting to see what happens,” she said. “I’m going to see if I can find out anything else.”

Police Maj. Sam Thomas said he didn’t have more details about the bottle.

“They’re just starting to clear the scene,” he said.

The school has an enrollment of about 1,250 students.

Fire and school officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

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