Saturday 3 December 2016

CIA accidentally left explosives on bus used to transport school children

Published 01/04/2016 | 20:31

Loudoun County schoolbus
Loudoun County schoolbus

The CIA accidentally left explosives in a Virginia school bus that was subsequently used to take students to and from two primary schools with the explosives still inside of it.

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The agency confirmed on Thursday that "explosive training material" was found inside of a bus that had been borrowed for a K-9 training exercise last week.

Officials in Loudoun County said the bus had been used to transport students on Monday and Tuesday of this week, before the explosive material was found during a routine maintenance check.

In a statement, school officials said the explosive had fallen from where it was hidden as part of the exercise and become lodged in the "engine compartment" of the bus.

"The CIA assured Loudoun officials the training material used in this exercise is stable and posed no danger to students on board the bus," the statement said.

Parents told local media that they had been assured no children were in danger, but remained extremely concerned.

Some took to the school department's Facebook page to raise those concerns.

"Who's idea was it it to use an in-service bus to place explosive training material? Even though the material was deemed 'stable' (so they say) there had to be an element of risk, especially when considering it was placed in a hot engine compartment," wrote Mike Hobbs.

The CIA has not said what type of explosive was used in the exercise, or how such an accident could have taken place.

"To prevent such incidents from happening again, CIA has taken immediate steps to strengthen inventory and control procedures in its K-9 program," the agency said in a statement. "CIA will also conduct a thorough and independent review of CIA’s K-9 training program."

All buses used in the exercise were searched following the discovery of the material, and no traces of explosives were found.

Reuters

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