Teenager charged with felony in SkyView Academy explosion

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SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch was evacuated after a "chemical incident" at the school.

SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch was evacuated after a "chemical incident" at the school.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — At least one teen boy has been charged in connection with an explosion at SkyView Academy that sent five people to the hospital, Michelle Yi of the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office said.

“(I) can confirm that a juvenile has been charged with one count of possession of an explosive or incendiary device and five counts of third degree assault,” Yi said Thursday.

Two teenage boys had previously been arrested in the case, but the DA’s office would not confirm whether the person charged Thursday was one of those two.

The explosives charge is a felony, while the assault charges are misdemeanors.

The Highlands Ranch school was evacuated on Jan. 14 after some sort of device ruptured in a 10th grade logic class, police said.

“They brought lithium into the classroom and put water on it and it exploded,” 10th grader Caitlyn Przygocki said, noting that she saw a substitute teacher suffer burns in the incident. ““It was just chaos. Everyone was so scared and crying.”

Multiple people told FOX31 Denver that one of the two teens initially arrested was suspended from SkyView last year for an undisclosed threat, but he was allowed to return this year.

YouTube features numerous videos showing how easy it is to build a chemical bomb mixing lithium taken from a battery and water.

The hydrogen molecules in water react with the lithium causing instant ignition.  When contained in a sealed bottle under pressure, the combination can cause an explosion.

That can also lead to severe burns and release of toxic gas fumes which can be fatal if inhaled directly.

It’s not yet known if the device was meant to be a prank or intentionally hurt other students.

The five taken to a hospital, four students and one teacher, had respiratory injuries, Hanavan said, but were not seriously injured.

Classes resumed as normal the day after the event.

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