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Dec 05, 2012 at 11:49am IST

Australia: 11-year-old brings hand grenade to school, students evacuated

Melbourne: An 11-year-old girl brought a hand grenade to her class in an Australian school for a 'show and tell' activity on Wednesday, prompting evacuation of over 500 students and teachers. Police were called to Hunter Christian School in Sydney after a teacher discovered the girl had brought a "pineapple" hand grenade, a model of weapon used in the World War-II and the Vietnam War.

Some 450 students and 60 teachers of the school were evacuated to a park near the school and allowed back after the New South Wales Police Bomb and Rescue Unit declared the school safe. Police said they believed the grenade was inactive but Australian Defence Force personnel took away the device with them to examine it, local media reported.

Police Inspector Gerrard Lawson said authorities wanted to reassure parents that all students were safe. "At this time we anticipate an early resolution to this issue but we will await specialist advice as to the safety of moving the item," he said. The girl, who was the year five student, "understood it to be a dummy hand grenade that had been deactivated, there was no firing pin, just the body of the grenade," Principal Boyd Allen told The Newcastle Herald.

Australia: Girl brings hand grenade to school

The grenade, which the girl thought was inactive, was a model used in the World War-II and the Vietnam War.

"We understand it was from a family friend and many years old. It was heavy, but I assume practice grenades would weigh that much too," he said. Allen said the student was not in trouble. "She's bewildered, embarrassed," he said. "I tried to make her aware shes not in trouble. She's a sweet young lady from a lovely family."