Nerves rattled in blast


POSTED: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Michele Moore said she is angry at the person who put her daughter and hundreds of other students in danger by setting off an apparently homemade chemical bomb at Aiea High School yesterday.

;[Preview] Homemade bomb explodes At Aiea High School

An improvised bomb slightly injured five people at Aiea High School.

Watch ]


  Though no one was seriously injured, Moore said the potentially dire consequences ran through her mind.

“;My nerves are still a wreck. I'm still shaking,”; she said.

Four people - two students and two school personnel - were treated by paramedics at the school at 98-1276 Ulune St. after they complained of skin and eye irritation after the device exploded yesterday morning on a stairway of the science building or “;D”; building. No structural damage was observed.

Officials said the two students were close to the bomb when it detonated about 9:10 a.m. The students, a male and female, left with their parents after they were treated by paramedics at the school.

A security guard and a health aide, a male and female in their late 20s, who responded to the explosion were also treated by paramedics at the site.

“;Everybody is stable. They're doing fine,”; said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. Moore, who lives near the school, said she was scared when she learned that the school was in lockdown and did not know whether her daughter was OK.

“;It's a terrible situation when you don't know what's going on,”; she said. Her daughter, Ami, a sophomore, later texted her from her cell phone to say she and other students were all right.

The lockdown lasted for about an hour. No arrests were made.

Faculty, staff, students and their parents were to be notified of the occurrence, Principal Michael Tokioka said during a news briefing yesterday outside the school campus.

Moore said the person or persons responsible for creating the bomb don't realize the severity of their actions. “;He made the choice and his choice could have killed somebody,”; she said.

Lt. Glenn Maekawa, watch commander for the Pearl City Police Station, said fingerprints would be examined on the device, a 12-ounce plastic water bottle, at the crime lab. Officials will also administer tests to determine what ingredients were used.

Police and firefighters discovered a water bottle that contained some type of acid. The top half appeared to have melted off with the explosion.

Maekawa and Capt. Terry Seelig, spokesman of the Honolulu Fire Department, warned the public of the dangers of improvised explosive devices.

“;Not only could you be injured by it or killed, you put a lot of people in jeopardy,”; said Maekawa.

Manufacturing an explosive device is a federal offense. The person or persons responsible also face charges varying from reckless endangerment to criminal property damage.

Moore's daughter said she was in chemistry class when her teacher informed the students that they were heading to the cafeteria for lockdown.

“;Students were scared,”; said Ami.