Michigan high school student, 16, detonates homemade explosive in classroom, 6 injured as investigation continues

The 16-year-old student who detonated the device suffered moderate to severe injuries when it exploded. Students were evacuated then sent home because of the odor and smoke inside the school


                            Michigan high school student, 16, detonates homemade explosive in classroom, 6 injured as investigation continues
Newaygo High School in Michigan where students and a teacher were injured after an explosion (Facebook/NewaygoHS)
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NEWAYGO, MICHIGAN: A student at a high school in the Newaygo Public School District reportedly ignited an “explosive compound” in class, injuring himself and other students, the superintendent said. The incident occurred on Monday morning, March 8. 

Four other students and a teacher suffered minor injuries when a 16-year-old student accidentally detonated a homemade explosive device as per the state police. The 16-year-old was also injured. The 16-year-old student who detonated the device suffered moderate to severe injuries when it exploded. The explosion also damaged a desk in the classroom. 

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Superintendent Peggy Mathis said that she was awaiting information on the extent of injuries suffered by the student who allegedly ignited the “explosive compound.”

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As per reports, school workers and first responders immediately sought to determine what happened and if other students were at risk. Subsequently, all other schools in Newaygo County were put on lockdown until the police determined there were no further threats to students. Students were evacuated then sent home because of the odor and smoke inside the school.

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“Our first priority is the safety of all of the kids,” Mathis said to the press. She also said that the explosion was “not an attack or designed to be something malicious, but a serious lack of judgment.” The explosion, per Mathis, “was not somebody planting an explosive device in order to hurt our students. Those directly involved with the situation determined that was not the intent.”

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Lt. Michelle Robinson of the state police said that they are trying to determine the material used in the explosion and the circumstances behind the student bringing it to school. Police believe it was an isolated incident.

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Multiple police, fire, and hazardous-materials agencies from around the area responded to the explosion, including the state police Bomb Squad, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF. 

“It was an isolated incident and not intended to hurt people we do not believe, it’s under investigation, so we have new facts coming in, but it was not something they intended to have happened,” said Newaygo Police Chief Georgia Andres. Classes will continue as normal on Tuesday, March 9, according to Mathis. 

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Newaygo High School. (Facebook/NewaygoHS)

In 2018, more than a dozen students at Merrol Hyde Magnet School, a high school in Hendersonville just northeast of Tennessee’s capital Nashville, were injured along with their teacher when a science experiment turned into a chemical fire, sending nine people to the hospital. Those taken to the hospital were treated for burns to their faces and arms. A total of 17 people were treated from the incident.

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In 2015, a chemistry lab demonstration at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County in Virginia reportedly went awry and burned five high school students. Two students were severely injured. The incident led to a ban on the demonstration known as a “rainbow flame”, which involves igniting a pool of ethyl alcohol on a lab table and adding salts to change the color of the flames.

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