Sprinkler explodes, mistaken for bomb at Spanish Springs High
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Classes are canceled for the day at Spanish Springs High School after a sprinkler head exploded near a vending machine this morning. It caused a large noise and it was believed a bomb may have gone off. A suspicious backpack was found behind the vending machine, so the school was evacuated and a bomb squad brought in. The Washoe County Sheriffs office also responded to the incident and held the perimeter while students evacuated and the threat was investigated.
"It appears that there's some type of malicious tampering with the fire sprinkler system, so our detectives are conducting an investigation identifying suspects, and we will go from there."
Tracey Moore is a police officer for the school district. No students were injured. He says they have several people of interest and based on surveillance video it's likely a student was involved. Another possibility is a student threw a backpack on top of the vending machine where it hooked onto the sprinkler and broke the head. When it exploded, the loud pop from the sprinkler echoed and the mist was mistaken for smoke. Officials say there was no actual fire, though.
Moore says because the sprinkler system went offline in the building, they had to cancel classes for the day.
"There is some water damage. There's no water damage to the classroom. It's mainly to the hallway and entrance of the school. The design of the school is cinderblock, so there is some dry wall, but there was no damage done to the classrooms."
The school district is currently investigating the issue.
11 AM Update:
KUNR's Will Stone is at the scene of Spanish Springs High School and reports a spokesman for the Washoe County School District says this morning's incident was not a bomb; a fire sprinkler may have failed, causing a large "booming" sound. Then it triggered the sprinklers, which flooded the school. School is canceled for today and authorities are investigating whether the incident involved tampering of the sprinklers.
8 AM Update:
Classes have been canceled at Spanish Springs High School after a vending machine exploded. A bomb squad is currently investigating, but the district has no more information about the size or cause of the explosion at this time. As of yet, there are no reports of any injured students. The explosion set off the sprinkler system, which then flooded the campus. Students were evacuated to the field and then shortly after classes were cancelled.