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Two Students Arrested Following ‘Small Explosion’ at Hilo High

Posted January 30, 2014, 03:31 PM HST
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Police officers block an exit from the Hilo High School parking lot during an investigation of a small explosion at the school. Photo by Dave Smith.

Police said two Hilo High School students were arrested this afternoon in connection with a small explosion at the school.

The school was put on lockdown at 11:34 a.m. following the explosion in an open corridor near the auditorium at the Waianuenue Avenue school.

Police recovered the remnants of a plastic liquid container and an unidentified liquid substance.

The two 16-year-old male students were arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening, which is a class “C” felony.

They were taken into custody while detectives from the Juvenile Aid Section continued their investigation.

The device was believed to be what is known as a chemical bottle bomb.

Sometimes referred to as “Drano” bombs, the crude explosives are typically made with 2-liter plastic soda bottles. They can cause serious chemical burns and other injuries when detonated.

No one was injured in today’s incident. Police said the damage was restricted to residue at the site.

The lockdown was lifted shortly before 1 p.m.

A similar incident happened in July 2013 when two bottle bombs exploded at Waiakea Intermediate School.

An employee of the school on Puainako Street found two exploded bottles outside a building along with a third ready to explode.

No arrests were made in that incident, which was investigated as a case of possession of prohibited weapons, which is also a class “C” felony.

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