Posted on January 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Wednesday, Jan 23 at 1:47 PM
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Two soda bottles containing suspicious liquids exploded at Ferris High School Wednesday, prompting evacuations and a full search of the campus.
The first blew up near the start of the school day in a hallway. Initial reports said three faculty members were injured. The Spokane Fire Department later said just one custodian suffered a superficial skin irritation while he cleaned up the mess. He was not treated and not transported.
Hours later, a second device exploded in the school commons as emergency crews examined the liquid in the first bottle. Schools then began evacuating and organizing busses by 11:40.
Police say school officials believed the first incident was minor, hence their original decision to keep school in session. The wheels to evacuate were put in motion immediately after the second incident.
Members from the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane Fire Department responded. Officials from both departments believe these bottles contained household chemicals and say students were not in serious danger. Authorities call this more of a nuisance than anything else.
"This is finals week," Spokane Public Schools spokeswoman Terren Roloff said. "According to the police and the fire department, this is a common strategy to get out of school. Still, however, we thought it was the best thing to do to let students out so we can search for any more of those devices."
The gym was searched early and was deemed to be free of any suspicious devices. Crews will spend the remainder of the day exploring the campus. School is expected to be in session Thursday.
At this point, police have not identified any suspects.
Many students described the explosions as loud and startling. One girl told KREM 2 the sound of the explosion stopped her heart.