Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR), Connecticut

Wooster School lockdown for the birds

DANBURY -- Wooster School was put on lockdown Wednesday after a teacher reported she heard gunshots, but authorities quickly determined there was no danger at the school.

Instead, the gunshot sounds apparently originated at Danbury Municipal Airport, where pyrotechnic shells were fired to scare geese away.

"They've been used for 20 years now; it's like shooting off a cap gun," said Mike Safranek, assistant airport manager. "It makes a loud noise and that's what scares the birds away."

The airport is less than a mile from the school.

Danbury Police Lt. Christian Carroccio, the department's spokesman, said the school's headmaster put the school in lockdown and contacted police after a teacher in the school's arts center called to report hearing shots shortly after 1 p.m.

Five police cruisers responded with lights and sirens, Carroccio said, but soon learned there was no problem in the school.

At first, Carroccio said the teacher had heard what were likely echoes of gunshots coming from the wooded area around the school, which may have originated with hunters or from a nearby gun club.

Upon further investigation authorities realized the sound was likely from the airport.

The shells are fired when birds are gathering in an area that's dangerous to air traffic, Safranek said. It's a nonlethal way to scatter the birds. The firing of pyrotechnic shells is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Headmaster Matthew Byrnes said the teacher reported hearing gunshots, and that's why he put the school in lockdown.

The teacher did the right thing based on what was known at that time, he said, and the school took appropriate measures. Late yesterday afternoon, he said everyone was relieved to learn that no one had been in danger.


No comments:

Post a Comment