Explosion near Fort Dale Academy results in lockdown

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fort Dale Academy went into a precautionary lockdown Thursday morning at approximately 11 a.m.

The lockdown procedure was due to an explosion that occurred adjacent to the school’s premises.

“School officials heard a loud explosion in close proximity to our campus,” said Fort Dale Academy Headmaster David Brantley.

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“A member of our staff heard a loud explosion followed by a cloud of smoke, and witnessed two individuals running in the wooded area alongside the school’s property line, adjacent to the football field.  Due to the uncertainty of the situation, we immediately placed the entire campus on lockdown.  The safety of our students and faculty is our number one priority and precautionary measures were taken to ensure their safety.”

Fort Dale Academy routinely practices safety procedures, including lockdown precautions.

Brantley said that the students and faculty are routinely trained on proper safety procedures and response.

“Fort Dale Academy’s campus is properly secure and routinely monitored to ensure the safety of students and faculty,” Brantley said.

“The lockdown procedure went smoothly and quickly.”

Police and sheriff officials were notified immediately of the explosion and lockdown procedure.

According to Brantley, the authorities responded quickly and were able to locate the explosive device.

After a search and investigation, the individuals responsible for the explosion were identified.

“The Greenville Police Department and Butler County Sheriff’s Department responded quickly and, after a thorough investigation, felt that it was safe to resume classes and daily routine,” Brantley said.

Greenville Police Department Chief Lonzo Ingram said that after investigating the incident it appears that the explosion was not on school property.

“The explosion was loud and caused good reason for concern,” Ingram said.

“Fort Dale Academy took the appropriate precautionary measures to make sure that everyone on campus was safe and not in danger.  There are two individuals responsible for setting off an explosive device adjacent to the Fort Dale Academy property.   It does not appear that there was intent to cause harm.  The Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will handle the situation accordingly.”

The individuals identified for causing the explosion are not Fort Dale Academy students, nor do they attend any area schools.