BOY CHARGED AFTER CHEMICAL EXPLOSION INJURES SCHOOLMATE
A 12-year-old boy accused of creating a chemical explosion during morning recess on Wednesday didn’t mean to harm one of his schoolmates.
That’s according to Regina Public School Division spokesperson Terry Lazarou.
“There was no indication that the student intended to do any harm to anyone,” said Lazarou. “The fact that it hurt someone was accidental.
“However, it still is very, very serious. It did cause harm to a student. It is completely inappropriate in a school environment.”
Regina police have charged the 12-year-old boy in connection with the incident that occurred on the playground of Ruth M. Buck School in northwest Regina.
A 12-year-old girl who was nearby sustained non-life-threatening injuries. She was taken to hospital with chemical burns.
At a news conference on Thursday, Regina police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said only that the girl was treated and will recover. Lazarou wouldn’t comment further, citing the girl’s right to privacy.
The chemicals didn’t come from the school, said Lazarou, nor did the knowledge of how to create an explosion.
“They ’re materials that are relatively common, but when mixed together in a closed container, create enough pressure to explode the container,” Popowich said.
She didn’t want to be more specific lest “someone else who may have the same level of curiosity” considers replicating the boy’s activities.
Lazarou agreed, saying: “The student, I think, just wanted to demonstrate that something could be assembled easily and show off, and it just went horribly, horribly wrong.”
As Thursday was the last day of school before the weeklong spring break, Lazarou said a school assembly would be planned for the week of April 9 to discuss the incident.
“The assembly will probably involve the school resource officer, who’s a police person, to talk about safety and not messing around with stuff that’s potentially very dangerous,” said Lazarou.
According to Regina police, the school’s principal contacted a school resource officer to report the “explosive chemical reaction that injured a student.”
Lazarou said school administrators gave the girl first aid.
He said there was a “small delay” in contacting some of the parents of students who witnessed the explosion, as the police were conducting an investigation.
As of late Thursday morning, he said, some of the students’ parents had been contacted, while others had yet to be contacted.
He said the school would be sending a letter home to families on Thursday to inform them of the event.
Lazarou couldn’t say exactly how many supervisors were on the playground at the time, but “there wasn’t a gap in supervisors. It was a very quick thing.”
He said this is a first for the school division, “with respect to someone becoming injured because of something like this.”
The 12-year-old boy, who cannot be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with using explosives (throwing a corrosive substance), assault with a weapon, and mischief under $5,000.
He made his first court appearance in youth court on Thursday.
Police searched the suspect’s home and “are also engaged in a protocol to assess any potential threat posed by the suspect,” police said.
Police, school officials and other authorities are also engaged in planning to provide followup and other resources as needed for all involved.
There is no evidence the explosion was directed at any particular individual.
Popowich said information wasn’t released about the incident until Thursday because an investigation “takes a certain amount of time.”