State police are investigating two bomb scares in Higganum on Thursday, including one that forced students and school officials to evacuate Haddam Killingworth High School.
Around 10:30 a.m., workers from the Town of Haddam were cleaning out catch basins along Beaver Meadow Road when they came across what appeared to be a pipe bomb, Troop F Sgt. Sal Calvo said.
The bomb, which was black in color, still had a wick in it, he said.
"We identified it to be a pipe bomb and shut down Beaver Meadow Road in both directions," Calvo said. The State Police Emergency Services Unit was called to the scene to dispose of the bomb.
"They also brought out two bomb dogs, K-9 dogs, and they did a line search of Beaver Meadow Road in both directions. We wanted to make sure there were no other bombs out there," said Calvo.
While the search continued, at approximately 12:15 p.m., Calvo said state police received a call from the high school that a bomb threat had been discovered written on a wall in a boy's bathroom.
The note read "There is a bomb in the building — March 15, 2012," according to Calvo.
School officials decided to evacuate the building and by the time state police arrived at the scene students and faculty were outside. Students were dismissed for the day a short time later while some faculty remained to collect their belongings.
Read the letters sent to parents Thursday by Superintendent Howard Thiery and Principal Charlie Macunas below
State police searched the school but did not find a bomb, Calvo said. State police said the incidents were not related.
The investigations into both incidents are being handled by state police. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 860-399-2100.
Note from District 17 Superintendent Howard Thiery sent to parents:
Parents, Guardians and Community Members,
This afternoon around 12:15 I was notified by the High School administration that a bomb threat had been found on a boy's lavatory wall. State Police were on sight at that time and helped us process the situation. The nature of the written threat did not have a high degree of credibility but the State Police notified us that an active pipe bomb had been found this morning on Beaver Meadow Road in Haddam. This led us to take the precautionary measure of evacuating the high school and central office complex. Since it was late in the school day we determined that it would be best to roll buses and dismiss the school early so that the High School could be effectively searched and cleared. The state Police Bomb Techs and Haddam Fire Department did a complete sweep of the building and did not find anything. At around 3:00 this afternoon the site was deemed safe and released back to us by emergency personnel. Haddam Killingworth High School will open as usual tomorrow morning. Our Resident State Trooper and two bomb techs will be on site tomorrow morning at the opening of school so that if anything suspicious were to happen it could be cleared immediately and we would not need to repeat today's process. The High School will be closed to the public this evening due to the search and our need to prepare the school to open tomorrow morning.
Note from Haddam Killingworth High School Principal Charles Macunas sent to parents:
Later this evening, you will receive a message from the superintendent providing you an update on today's incident.
Please know that all necessary precautions were taken today to insure the safety of students and staff. The building was thoroughly safety checked by all appropriate official responders and deemed ready to be occupied for business as usual tomorrow. The building is however closed for the remainder of this evening.
Knowing that many students left pocketbooks and/or backpacks in their E period classes; we are going to adjust our class schedule accordingly for classes tomorrow.
The schedule for tomorrow is as follows:
E- 7:25 - 7:35 for students to retrieve possessions
HR - 7:40 - 7:50
A - 7:55 - 8:40
B - 8:45 - 9:30
C - 9:35 - 10:15
D - 10:20 - 11:05
E - 11:55 - 12:40
F - 12:45 - 1:25
G - 1:30 - 2:10