UPDATE, 1:35 p.m. | There were 25-30 students in the school at the time of the explosion, said Kathryn Reith, spokeswoman for Lake Washington Schools, correcting previous reports.
The students were part of an early morning orchestra practice, Reith said. They were all located in an area well away from where the device was located, she said.
UPDATE, 11:15 a.m. | The sheriff’s bomb squad has cleared the scene. They say the device that exploded was an acid bomb, which they said was not particularly sophisticated. Sheriff spokeswoman Sgt. DB Gates did not name the kind of acid used but said it was similar to the kind used to clean concrete.
She said the bomb, which relies on a chemical reaction to explode, appeared to be the sort of “prank” or activity typically orchestrated by “juvenile males.”
“I don’t know what drives teenage boys to do these kinds of things, but that’s typically who’s doing them,” said Gates.
Meanwhile, Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent of Lake Washington School District, has sent out the following note to parents:
We want to make you aware of a situation in the Dickinson Elementary parking lot this morning that is being covered by media. Dickinson is one of our schools in Redmond.
Dickinson Elementary School and Explorer Community School are closed today, as prior to the start of school this morning, a two-liter bottle exploded in the parking lot of Dickinson Elementary. A bus driver was walking past the bottle when it exploded and may have been exposed to the fumes and was hit by something that came out of the bottle. The driver was sent to the hospital to be checked out. There were no serious injuries. No students were nearby or injured. There is no property damage. For a short time, Evergreen Middle School was in modified lockdown due to the nearby police activity.
Students and parents may be hearing rumors about this situation. I want you to have accurate information and ask that you:
- Be aware of this situation. We have zero reason to believe that any more of these bottles would be on any other campus. This situation is a good reminder for all of us to be mindful of our surroundings and to report anything suspicious.
- Correct any rumors that you hear from students or other sources.
The police are still actively investigating this situation. If you have any information that you think would be helpful, please share that information with your school principal.
ORIGINAL POST | A sheriff’s bomb squad is responding to Emily Dickinson Elementary in the 7000 block of 208th Ave. N.E. in Redmond where a 2-liter pop bottle containing dry ice and liquid exploded Monday morning.
A bus driver who happened to be walking by was hit by shards and taken to a hospital. A second person also was taken to the hospital for possible chemical exposure, said Sgt. DB Gates of the King County Sheriff’s Office. The explosion happened at about 7:40 a.m.
Kathryn Reith, spokeswoman for Lake Washington , said no students were at the school, which opens at 9 a.m. Classes there have been canceled for Monday.
The two school bus drivers were on a layover between trips to a middle school and trips to pick up elementary students, Reith said. The blast happened near an outer lot, some 200 feet from the school door, she said.
Classes are continuing at nearby Evergreen Middle School, but that school is on modified lockdown. Students will stay indoors until deputies can check the grounds and ensure there are no other devices, Reith said.