Explosive causes Arlington High evacuation; teen detained

Students were released for the day as police continued investigating the incident Tuesday afternoon.

ARLINGTON — A 16-year-old student was taken into custody Tuesday after a homemade explosive was set off in a bathroom in the Arlington High School, causing the school district to cancel classes for the day.

High school staff and the Arlington police school resource officer responded to the second floor of the D-Wing and put out a small fire in a bathroom. Arlington police and firefighters were also dispatched to help extinguish the fire and secure the campus.

“After a cursory examination, the device has now been identified as a homemade explosive device,” Arlington police said in a Tuesday afternoon press release. “The Seattle office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is assisting Arlington Police in the on-going investigation.”

Arlington High School was evacuated Tuesday morning due to an “emergency situation,” a statement from the district said.

Police were dispatched to the campus around 8:30 a.m.

District spokesperson Gary Sabol said the smoke was contained to the bathroom, and there was no further danger to students or staff. No injuries were reported.

Students initially gathered in the Arlington High School Stadium. Around noon, they were transported by bus to Haller Middle School, about three miles away, where they could ride the bus or be picked up by parents. Students were set to be released after attendance was taken.

Police were still investigating. Washington State Patrol troopers, Everett police and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies responded, as well as investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“I would like to thank the students, families and staff of Arlington Public Schools for their understanding during this emergency situation,” said Dr. Chrys Sweeting, Arlington Public Schools superintendent. “The safety of our students and staff is a top priority for our district. The student reunification process took an extended amount of time but our families were incredible, waiting patiently to pick up their children.”

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