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2 juveniles arrested after chemical device ruptures at SkyView Academy

1:12 AM, Jan 15, 2014   |    comments
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HIGHLANDS RANCH - Two juvenile males were arrested after four students and a teacher were taken to the hospital after some type of chemical device went off at SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch on Tuesday.

"Over the intercom, it said it was a fire drill," Zoe Georgia, 6th grader, said. "So, we had to evacuate and go on to the field."

Sgt. Ron Hanavan with the Douglas County Sheriff's Department says a chemical device ruptured inside one of the classrooms.

"We are not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the device, other than to say the chemical reaction found within the container caused the device to rupture," Hanavan said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Ten patients were evaluated at the scene. Authorities cleared the building around noon. with the help of South Metro Fire and the Bomb Squad.

Parents like Scott Allan were called to retrieve their children. SkyView Academy is a K-12 school with more than 1,100 students.

"You care for the safety of your children. You're concerned as soon as you get a call like this," Allan said.

Douglas County authorities said the incident was not an accident and are treating this as a criminal investigation.

"It was kind of nerve-wracking cause I didn't know what was going to happen," Zoe said.

The incident occurred in a classroom, not a chemistry lab. The school did not sustain any physical damage, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"Our evacuation process went according to plans and how we've practiced in our drills," Lisa Nolan, SkyView Academy's interim executive director, said. "All the staff and kids are safe and calm."

School was dismissed for the rest of the day. Classes will resume Wednesday.

The homes of the two suspects were searched Tuesday evening. Neighbors said the two juveniles were "super nice."

Charges against the two boys have not been filed yet. All five people treated at the hospital suffered respiratory issues. They are all expected to be okay.

Investigators are looking any students who witnessed the event to contact the Douglas County Sheriff's Department.

"I think we're all so hyper-alert these days to crises happening in a school that I think it sort of strikes panic in parents," Kirsty Georgia, Zoe's mother, said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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