Cedar High School was locked down for an hour on Wednesday after an officer discovered what looked like a bomb. But the “bomb” turned out to be nothing more than a cardboard tube filled with pinto beans.
The school resource officer was returning to the school from another call when he saw the tube in the parking lot near the front entrance of the school, said Cedar City police Lt. Darin Adams. The tube had black duct tape on either side of it, and the officer thought it looked suspicious, Adams said.
Cedar City police and firefighters arrived at 10:40 a.m. and the school was put on lockdown five minutes later. Investigators took an X-ray photograph of the tube, but when they couldn’t conclusively tell what was inside, they called out a bomb squad from St. George.
The school lifted the lockdown at 11:30 a.m., allowing students to leave through the opposite end of the building and go anywhere except for the taped-off parking lot where police were investigating the package.
The bomb squad used a robot to tear open the tube, which revealed the pinto beans inside, Adams said. It appeared to be some kind of noise maker, Adams said.
Cedar High Principal Kevin Garrett told Adams there has never been a lockdown for a suspicious package in his 10 years at the school. Even though the suspected bomb turned out to be beans, Adams said the experience was a “tremendous” training opportunity and that he was pleased with everyone’s performance, including the students’.
Authorities cleared the scene by 1:30 p.m.