Layton students safe after suspicious device found

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Students and staff at a Layton elementary school are safe after a school custodian discovered a 4-inch pipe bomb on the school’s roof Monday.

Teachers and staff led children from Mountain View Elementary School to a nearby church building after a custodian carried the soda-can-sized bomb down from the roof late Monday morning.

The device, fashioned out of a 4-inch piece of PVC pipe with plastic caps, contained gun powder, said Layton police Lt. Shawn Horton. That kind of bomb typically works like a firecracker, Horton said, but this one did not appear to have a fuse.

“Certainly, if you were holding it in your hand, you would lose some fingers” if the device went off, Horton said. But “it wasn’t enough to blow a hole in the school or anything like that.”

School officials put out emails and phone calls to parents telling them to pick up their children at the church, where some buses also left to bring children home.

Officials believe the bomb showed up on the roof sometime after Friday, when another custodian had trekked up to the roof to retrieve a ball for students but did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

The school district dispatched custodians at other buildings Monday, asking them to scour roofs for any abnormalities.

Police, firefighters and two German shepherds combed the building Monday afternoon but did not find any traces of other explosives, Horton said. The bomb squad technicians dismantled the device in the parking lot around 1 p.m., after students had left.

Police did not have any suspects, Horton said, but will review video surveillance footage of the school roof over the coming weeks.

The school has about 700 students, and they will go back to a normal schedule Tuesday, said Davis County schools spokesman Chris Williams.

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