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A Montana elementary school’s playground was evacuated after officials thought they found a bomb

Students at a Montana elementary school were evacuated on Tuesday when someone found what was initially thought to be a homemade bomb on a playground.

Officials later said the suspicious object at Rossiter Elementary School was not an improvised explosive device, or IED, and didn’t explode, as was initially reported. The object was actually a bottle filled with nuts and bolts from a construction site, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton told CNN.

“The plastic bottle found this morning at Rossiter Elementary did not explode. It was left there by a transient with mental health issues who thought he was picking up litter,” the department said.

Classes at Rossiter were canceled while authorities started an investigation, but the school will now be open Wednesday. All Helena and East Helena schools were swept and cleared after initial lockdowns.

The sheriff’s office said even though the suspicious object wasn’t malicious, the schools’ careful response was the correct way to handle the situation.

The FBI, Montana Highway Patrol, Helena Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted the sheriff’s office in the investigation, CNN affiliate KTVH reported.

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