Hillsboro police clear homemade explosives from park across from middle school


A Hillsboro middle school was put on lockdown Tuesday morning after five homemade explosives were found in a park across the street.

Hillsboro officers and firefighters had the parking lot area at Reedville Park shut down so the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from the Portland Police Bureau could safely destroy the explosives that were in plastic jugs and bottles strewn around the lot.

EOD officers used a water pressure cannon to force a control explosive reaction in the devices, which Hillsboro police said contained a mixture of aluminum foil and corrosive chemicals.

"Fire in the hole" police yelled. They set up a device to spray the explosive with water. It seemed to work! @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/iMVQDoebXF— Kandra Kent (@KandraKPTV) March 14, 2017

Officers noted the devices were rigged in such a way that shaking or even just picking up the containers could cause them to explode.

And another one. Bottles had tinfoil and corrosive chemicals inside. Neighbors are upset because kids could've discovered them pic.twitter.com/a3eG18QgBi— Kandra Kent (@KandraKPTV) March 14, 2017

The bottles were first discovered by a park maintenance employee who first thought they were trash until one burst when he tried to pick it up to throw it away. The worker was not injured.

Police and firefighters then responded and shut down part of the park to search for more devices.

This all happened just across the street from Brown Middle School, which briefly went on lockout around 9:45 a.m. as police looked for similar devices around the school grounds. The school lifted the lockout around 10:10 a.m.

Officers waiting for bomb squad at Reedville Park. Middle school across street was on lockout out of caution pic.twitter.com/cY9e5leVaq— Kandra Kent (@KandraKPTV) March 14, 2017

Area resident Dave Ward told FOX 12 that he believes someone was just playing around and likely left the bottles there as a prank. Ward said he hopes that person realizes he or she made a big mistake and that someone could have really been hurt.

“It’s very concerning when there are kids around. That’s the main concern. You know we have the school right across here,” he said. “You don’t want certain people to get in this, you know. Certain stuff, if it blows up over there, could get into people’s eyes and blind them."

Hillsboro School District Communication Director Beth Graser said district offices had been flooded with phone calls, many from concerned parents.

Graser said school officials are now sending out messages to all parents to let them know what happened and that kids are safe.

Investigators say they are treating this as a crime and ask anyone with information about this incident to call Hillsboro police.

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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