Small explosion brings police to Tucumcari High, causes no injuries

Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer


A shop class incident that involved a small explosion that made a loud pop brought police to Tucumcari High School but resulted in no injuries Wednesday morning.

Classes proceeded as usual after the incident, according to Dave Johnson, assistant superintendent of Tucumcari Municipal Schools.
Johnson said during a morning shop class a male student was working with an oxyacetylene torch and allowed some acetylene gas to escape from the valve into a closed container. He said the student then ignited the gas with the torch, which  caused the acetylene gas to combust and create a loud pop.

Johnson said that was the extent of the incident, but police were called to comply with school policy.   Rumors that a pipe bomb had exploded were not true, Johnson said.

Pete Rivera, assistant chief of Tucumcari Police, said, “We responded to the high school at the request of the school administration.  We were told that there was no immediate threat and the school was not in lockdown.”

Johnson said the way the student used the torch and ignited the gas were unacceptable. He said the student would be made aware of how dangerous his action was to himself, his fellow students and the school, but would not comment on pending disciplinary action.

Johnson said school staff and administration procedures call for contacting police when such incidents occur and said he wants to ensure parents that at no time were children in immediate danger.

Rivera said police officers contacted high school staff and spoke spoke with the student, then left the school.


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