Four Burnet Middle School students were taken to Dell Children’s Hospital Monday morning as a precaution after an “acid bomb” was found releasing noxious vapors in a school bathroom.
A total of eight people—five children and three adults—were affected by vapors from the acid bomb which Eric Mendez, chief of police for the Austin Independent School District Police Department, said did not combust, but leaked hazardous vapors into the air. The adults and the fifth child did not require any further medical attention. Their symptoms ranged from irritated eyes to nausea.
According to Mendez, the bomb was found in a bathroom, prompting school officials to evacuate the entire school and call for emergency responders.
No suspects have been identified, but Mendez said he was confident surveillance cameras positioned throughout the school will be helpful in identifying the person or people responsible.
All students and teachers were allowed back into the school just before 11 a.m. and classes will proceed as normal. The area around the bathroom is still closed, but should not affect the day-to-day operation of the school.
Commander Kurt Brown with Austin/Travis County EMS said they have not yet identified what substances were in the bomb or what was released into the air.
Palmer Buck, a battalion chief with the Austin Fire Department, said acid bombs consist of two or more chemicals combined in a container of some sort. A chemical reaction produces gases which can cause the container to rupture.
Austin Fire Department arson detectives are working with AISD police conduct the investigation.