CUMBERLAND, Md. (WJZ) — An Oldtown teen was arrested outside Fort Hill High School Thursday morning when he detonated a homemade explosive device with about 10 people nearby.
It happened around 7:35 a.m. Thursday.
The incident was witnessed by two Allegany County deputies who had just arrived at the school concerning an unrelated matter.
The 17-year-old junior was taken into custody on a felony charge of manufacturing, transporting, processing, controlling and storing an explosive device and reckless endangerment.
He is awaiting an emergency hearing.
Police said the device was a “chemical reaction bomb” that the teen reportedly assembled at home and then transported aboard a public school bus.
The explosion created a loud noise similar to a gunshot, gave off a cloud of white smoke and blew pieces of the device into the air. Some of those materials were collected as evidence by the deputies who conducted the initial investigation.
There were about 10 people standing about 15 feet away from the point of the explosion. The deputies were about 50 yards away when they saw the explosive device “fly through the air,” impact the ground and explode seconds later.
Although there were no injuries, initial investigation determined the device contained harmful chemicals that could have caused severe injuries and loss of sight.