Exploded device found in elementary school playground, Montana deputies say

Officials at an elementary school in Montana called deputies Tuesday morning after finding the remnants of an improvised explosive device in a school playground, according to Lewis and Clark County sheriff's deputies.

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Authorities initially said in a statement posted on Facebook that the device detonated shortly after it was found Tuesday morning on the playground at Rossiter Elementary School in Helena. However, deputies told reporters later Tuesday that the device had exploded before it was found.

"We're not for sure exactly when it exploded but when they found it, it had been exploded," Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said.

Dutton said school officials called deputies around 8:20 a.m. Tuesday after they found the remnants of the device, which had been crafted from a soda bottle, duct tape and other components.

No students or faculty members were nearby when the explosion happened and no injuries were reported, deputies said. No property damage was reported either.

Dutton told The Associated Press no threat had been made against Rossiter Elementary. Authorities evacuated students from the area Tuesday morning and announced Rossiter Elementary would be closed for the day as officials investigated.

Authorities issued a district-wide lockdown after the device was discovered Tuesday to allow officials to search the schools. The lockdown was lifted Tuesday afternoon.

Officials with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office bomb squad, Helena Police Department, Montana Highway Patrol, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene Tuesday morning.

Authorities continue to investigate.

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