Student blamed for explosives on Fort Irwin campus
FORT IRWIN • Fort Irwin officials confirmed a Fort Irwin Middle School student was responsible for bringing four hand grenade simulators on campus, causing school lockdowns on three occasions.
The student, whose name was not released, is said to have been given access to the device from a family member who is a soldier, according to the post’s Facebook page.
A total of five simulators were found, including four on the campus. The first simulator was found Sept. 3 in the Sandy Basin area. Two days later a device was found on campus and two more the day after. The most recent simulator was found on campus Monday.
“This event is not linked to a greater threat,” Garrison Commander Col. Kurt Pinkerton wrote on the Facebook wall. “There is no intelligence or reports of any additional threat. This entire situation is merely a child gaining access to items they should not have access to and making a very poor decision.”
Officials believe the child had access to five grenade simulators and do not expect to find additional devices.
Hand grenade simulators are considered dangerous explosives — the equivalent of two cherry bombs, they can blow a man’s hands off if holding it when it detonates. The National Training Center uses the devices to train soldiers for war, simulating the loud sounds they’ll experience in combat.
Each time a hand grenade simulator was found on campus, officials sectioned off the area and called upon the Explosive Ordnance Disposal to disarm and dispose of the explosive.
Officials also called out bomb sniffing dogs from the Marine Corps Logistics Base to sweep the campus over the weekends for additional devices.
School officials will be briefed with new operating procedures for emergency services on post, according to a release by the training center. New procedures will be tested at each school prior to the 2012 winter opportunity leave period.
Officials would not comment on whether any arrests were made or the nature of disciplinary actions the suspects face.
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