Medicine Hat, AB - When Grade 10 student Liam Towle pulled his truck into the Crescent Heights High School parking lot Tuesday morning, he noticed something different.
“I went to go park and I saw this little thing. It was kind of in a box and wired up. And it scared me a little bit because I was wondering what it was.” Towle said. “Didn’t really bother with it. Then the next minute I know I’m in foods, first period class, and I hear ‘we’re going under a secure thing’ and I was like ‘oh what’s going on. I’m scared.’ I know what it is, it’s probably that thing.”
A custodian at the school also spotted the suspicious package Liam had seen.
Medicine Hat Police were immediately called and the school was put into a shelter in place.
“It was about 9:00- 9:30 this morning, the janitor at Crescent Heights High School located in the parking lot and informed the school resource officer at the school at what she found.” said acting Sergeant Chris Wyrostok “And the school resource officer then got in contact with us. A member of our Explosive Disposal Unit came up had a look at it and determined it was in the best interest and safety for everybody at the school to neutralize it.”
Mark Davidson, Medicine Hat Public School Division superintendent, said that although the school has many different procedures in place the shelter in place was the right one for this situation.
“What was used in this circumstance was shelter in place. And that means we keep students within the building and for the most part the building functions as normal.” He continued. “Unless there's areas of the building that we need to keep students away from in case something happens outside the building that might impact us inside.”
The drama area, the wood shop, and mechanic shop where all part of the closed-off area. Other classes continued as usual.
Police had 12th Street Northeasr from Division Ave to Second Ave blocked off for almost two hours as the explosive unit worked.
The package was described by students who saw it in the morning as a white box with green and yellows wires going into it with what appeared to be a battery or cell phone on top.
At around 10:45 AM police made their move, causing two small explosions of their own.
“That was from the EDU. Basically that’s the rounds that they use to neutralize it. To make it safe just so that they can go on and inspect it a little bit more closely on foot.” Said Wyrostok.
About 30 minutes later, the Medicine Hat Police announced that the package was rendered inoperable and the students were let out for lunch.
Police continued to search the section of the parking lot where the package was until about 1:30 p.m. but have not yet said if the package was in fact explosive in nature.
“I’m happy now that its been detonated or taken care of.” Smiled Liam.
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