'Hoax device' prompts evacuation of Central High, surrounding area

Paul Feely, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
·2 min read

Apr. 12—Manchester police shut down streets and evacuated buildings around Manchester High School Central on Monday, after a "suspicious device" was found outside the school.

The device was a hoax, police said.

Around 12:35 p.m. Monday, Manchester police were notified that a suspicious device was located near the Central High School Classical Building, in the area of 535 Beech St.

High school administrators described the item as being "taped up with wires sticking out," and school officials began evacuating the building.

Manchester public schools were in remote learning status on Monday, so the number of students and staff was much lower than normal.

Once on scene, officers blocked off roads, established a perimeter, and evacuated neighboring buildings.

Members of the State Police Bomb Disposal Unit responded and detonated the device, causing a loud bang.

Investigators determined the device was a hoax, and roads were reopened.

"I want to thank the NH State Police and Manchester School District for their collaboration in resolving this situation today," said Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg. "This event showed that our procedures work very well. We take this very seriously and will work hard to identify those responsible."

"The smooth response today is a testament to the importance of preparation and our partnership with Manchester police," said Superintendent of Schools John Goldhardt. "We were fortunate today that students were learning remotely, and also very fortunate no one was injured."

"As the mother of a Central High School student this really hits home," said Mayor Joyce Craig. "I want to thank the Manchester Police Department, the school district, NH state police and others for their collaboration and quick action in ensuring the safety of everyone in the area."

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Manchester police at 668-8711, or an anonymous tip on the Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040.