Student injures himself, 5 others with explosive device

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Newaygo — A student accidentally detonated a homemade explosive device inside a west Michigan classroom Monday, injuring himself, four other students and a teacher, officials said.

Details were not disclosed about the 16-year-old, who was taken by ambulance to a hospital for "moderate to severe" injuries from the blast, which occurred around 8:52 a.m. in a classroom.

Newaygo High School was immediately evacuated, said Lt. Michelle Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police 6th District. The city is located 35 miles north of Grand Rapids.

Four other students were taken to the hospital by their parents with minor injuries, according to Michigan State Police, who are assisting Newago Police Department in the investigation. The classroom teacher also sought treatment at a hospital.

A Michigan State Police officer at the scene said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on hand to determine what kind of explosive device was involved. 

“This was not somebody planting an explosive device in order to hurt our students,” Superintendent Peg Mathis said on Facebook.

Newaygo High School

Mathis earlier had described it as a “firework device.” Police later said it was a homemade explosive.

“This is believed to be an isolated incident and remains under investigation,” police said. 

Students were sent home because of the odor and smoke.

The Michigan State Police District 6 tweeted later Monday that troopers executed a search warrant at an unidentified Newaygo County residence in connection with the investigation. The search was conducted for at least two to three hours before State Police tweeted that officers would have more updates Tuesday morning

The Associated Press and Detroit News Staff Writers Oralandar Brand-Williams and Mark Hicks contributed.