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Second Bomb Explodes at High School; Other Schools Get Threats

October 11, 1989

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) _ A 16-year-old high school student was arrested on arson and bomb-making charges Tuesday night after authorities searched his home following the second pipe bombing at his high school in two days, authorities said.

Tuesday’s explosion at Anderson High School caused minor damage and forced the cancellation of classes. Telephoned bomb threats were reported in at least four other high schools in central Indiana.

The teen-ager was arrested at his home at 8:30 p.m. and charged with two counts of arson and two counts of manufacturing an explosive device, both felonies. The teen was held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Madison County.

Anderson Police Det. Kevin Smith said the student has made no statement.

He said investigators were led to the teen-ager by anonymous tips, and that there is a possibility of further arrests.

A small pipe bomb exploded about 7:35 a.m. Tuesday in a hall outside the school auditorium, said Charles Petersen, special agent in charge of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Indianapolis.

ATF agents were on their way to Anderson to investigate Monday’s explosion when the second bomb went off, Police Chief Ron Rheam said.

″It sounded like a loud firecracker. I was scared a little bit,″ said James Porter, a senior, who said he was about 40 yards from the explosion.

″The areas that the bombs were placed are areas where there is not heavy traffic flow, so that the person that’s placing the bombs has some feeling that he does not want anyone hurt,″ Rheam said.

A telephone threat preceded Tuesday’s blast by about 10 minutes. A few students and teachers were in the building at the time but no one was injured.

Monday’s explosion at the school was followed by two telephone bomb threats, said Fire Chief Dan Edwards. Highland and Madison Heights high schools in Anderson also received bomb threats Monday.

On Tuesday, officials at Frankton High School, about eight miles northwest of Anderson, evacuated about 720 students after receiving a bomb threat, said Stan Warner, assistant principal.

No bomb was found. Warner said students returned to classes about noon but some were sent home at their parents’ request.

″Once you have a bomb threat, you have a certain amount of hysteria and uncertainty, and it makes it very difficult to get the school back to a normal day,″ Warner said.

Noblesville High School, about 15 miles west of Anderson, also was evacuated Tuesday after officials there received a bomb threat. No bomb was found.

Noblesville Fire Chief Jeff Reveal suspected it was a copycat incident following publicity surrounding the Anderson bombs. ″I think it’s just somebody who thought they could get out of class a half a day or a period,″ Reveal said.

Authorities don’t know if the two explosions were related to each other or to the threats, Petersen said.

The device that exploded Monday was between a heater and the ceiling in a wrestling room, officials said.

Several ceiling tiles were burned and some paint was peeled by the heat, but damage from that blast was limited to about $500, said Smith of the Anderson police.

Tuesday’s blast did about $300 damage, Smith said.

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