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Explosives found on playground not a danger; parents upset over slow notification

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Parents are upset because a Waseca school didn't notify them right away after detonated explosives were found on the elementary school's playground.

Last week, three small explosives were discovered at Hartley Elementary School. Two of the explosives, including one inside a stuffed toy, were detonated; a third failed to ignite. Police said no one was hurt.

The Waseca School District made robocalls to families on Sunday, which stressed that there was never a danger to the students. But that came after most parents learned about the devices online, which has them upset.

"I think they should have alerted parents sooner," Jamie Robeck, whose two children attend Hartley, told KSTP.

The Waseca School District is reviewing its security protocols to find out why parents weren't told immediately, and the principal is meeting with concerned parents Monday, KSTP says.

Police issued another statement over the weekend after receiving a wave of phone calls from parents, according to the Waseca County News. In the statement, police stressed there was never any danger to students. Police also said the devices required an open flame to detonate and had probably been on the playground for weeks or months, but were recently found because snow melted.

Police said the devices were "small compressed air cartridges similar to those in a BB or pellet gun," Waseca County News says.

Over the weekend, Waseca Public School maintenance staff moved remaining snow on the playground to make sure there weren't any additional devices, the school said.

Police aren't sure if the devices were intentionally placed in the area and have no leads on who made the devices. They are asking anyone with information to contact them, the Mankato Free Press says.

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