HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The lockdown at Hilo High School has been lifted following a minor explosion on campus, according to the Dept. of Education.
The blast occurred just before 11:15 a.m. outside the school auditorium while class was in session. No injuries were reported, but the campus was locked down for more than an hour as police and fire officials investigated. No other explosives were found and an all-clear was given around 12:50 p.m.
DOE officials tell Hawaii News Now the device that detonated appears to be homemade, describing it as a plastic bottle containing various gases. After the lockdown was lifted, Hilo police reported that they arrested two 16-year-old male students.
Student Justin Scarf said, "We heard a loud explosion and after that the bell started ringing announcing it was a lockdown."
Student Kekoa Mata said, "No panic. Everyone was calm. Just wondering why somebody would do that."
Student Kathleen Shon said it was nerve racking. In her words, "Finding out it was a bomb kinda freaked me out."
Hawaii Police Lieutenant Gregory Esteban said detectives are talking to students. "At this point, this case is being investigated as a terroristic threatening investigation."
This incident comes two days after one of Hawaii's largest public schools, Roosevelt High School in Honolulu, was locked down following reports of a shooting on campus. Police had fired at a teenager who allegedly punched two officers and slashed a third with what is described as a large kithen knife.