Freshman charged with setting off makeshift bomb at Illinois high school

May 14, 2009
Chemical explosive device sickened or injured 14 at Lockport Township High

From The Joliet Herald-News: A 15-year-old high school freshman has been charged with setting off a makeshift chemical bomb that cleared Lockport Township (Ill.) High School's Central campus Monday. Police say the boy confessed to setting off the plastic bottle device as a prank. The device sickened or injured 13 students and a staff member and prompted authorities to put Central campus on lockdown for about three hours before dismissing students early. The boy is charged with unlawful use of a weapon, misdemeanor reckless conduct and possession of an explosive device.

ALSO: Administrators say that Lockport students are being cooperative about heightened security measures at the school in the wake of safety threats this week.

EARLIER...from The Joliet Herald-News: More stringent security restrictions have been imposed on students at Lockport Township (Ill.) High School after multiple incidents this week disrupted classes. Students at both of the school's campuses were sent home Tuesday morning after the school receive an anonymous bomb threat. The threat came one day after a soda bottle rigged with chemicals apparently exploded as students arrived for morning classes at the Central Campus. When students returned to school Wednesday morning, new restrictions were in effect. Among them: The number of entrances that students can use has been reduced; students cannot bring any open containers into the buildings; and students must place backpacks, purses and jackets in their lockers before classes begin.

EARLIER...from The Plainfield Sun: Students at Lockport Central High School in Lockport, Ill., were sent home at 11:15 a.m. Monday after a chemical release on the campus earlier in the day. The school was put on lockdown at 7:42 a.m. "after a chemical, improvised device with possible toxic substances was found in a school hallway," school officials say. By the time students were sent home, police had determined there were no further threats in the building. A plastic bottle reportedly released black smoke and possibly chemicals as students arrived for school. Nine students and one teacher may have had their skin and eyes exposed. They were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

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