AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A middle school in Aurora was evacuated Monday morning and then closed for the day after a pipe bomb was found inside.
Mrachek Middle School is located on South Telluride Street in Aurora, just north of Rangeview High School.
Aurora fire officials said an initial investigation has determined two or more suspects tried to light the device at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night but it failed to explode and simply burned up.
School employees contacted authorities at 8:40 a.m. when the suspicious device was found in an alcove between two buildings at the school.
“What (investigators) found was at the exterior of the building on the south side of the school there was remnants of an attempted pipe bomb detonation. There was not an actual explosion. The suspects that tried to detonate it were unsuccessful,” Aurora fire spokeswoman Wendy Lippman said.
Lippman said the suspects apparently “had what they thought was the right pieces and parts to make it explode.”
“They tried to start it on fire to detonate it and all they did was light it on fire and then it burned itself out,” she said.
No other suspicious devices were found in the school after an extensive search by emergency officials, who were aided by a bomb sniffing dog.
“The pipe bomb itself is where they take shrapnel and explosives and put them inside a closed container in a pipe shape, and that is what these suspects did,” Lippman said.
Authorities said they have good surveillance images of the suspects but they have not released any suspect descriptions at this time. No arrests have been made.
“We were in class for like 20 minutes and the principal told us that he wanted us to evacuate the building,” student Nevaeh Miller said.
The students were taken to Rangeview High after the evacuation and parents were asked to pick them up for the day there starting at 12:30 p.m. Students were also taken home via their normal bus routes at 12:30 p.m.
Parent Natalie Marshall told CBS4 the situation was frightening for her and her daughter.
“She said, ‘Mom, the police are surrounding the school. We have to be escorted out the school. We’re going to the high school across the street. Can you please hurry up and come get me?’ ” Marshall said. “She was terrified, which made me extremely scared as well.”
Students weren’t allowed to return to the school on Monday but it will be open for classes on Tuesday, Aurora Public Schools officials said.