A pilot is being investigated after reports spread that he was accused of threatening to fly a small plane into Badin High School, a Catholic school in Ohio. The pilot is in custody.
Despite an initial panic, authorities quickly stressed that students and the school were not in danger. Craig Bucheit, the police chief in Hamilton, Ohio, wrote on Twitter: “Despite initial reports, there is no plane in the air and no immediate threat at this time.” Bucheit also wrote: “Breaking: Officers are at Butler County Regional Airport investigating reported threat to crash plane into school. More to come…”
The high school stressed in its own Twitter message that the school was safe, writing, “Badin High School is safe and there is no threat. We have NOT evacuated and all students, faculty and staff are safe. We are working with Hamilton police and they are on campus.” The initial tweets caused a panic, but authorities later stressed that the school was not in peril from any plane. It’s not clear why authorities thought the man and plane might be a threat.
According to WMOH: “We understand the pilot who allegedly threatened Badin High School is in custody. He says he is a former Badin student, and studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. According to his Facebook page, he lives in Daytona Beach, Florida.”
“We want to reiterate there is no threat to anyone at this time,” Sgt. Brian Robinson said in a release. “There is no plane crash into a school. No students are in danger and no students have been evacuated.”
On Twitter, the school in Hamilton, Ohio describes itself as “a Catholic co-ed school with a welcoming community that profoundly shapes the way students Think, Achieve, Serve and Lead.”
According to Local12, “the man rented a plane and was flying near Badin High School Thursday morning. There were initial reports that the school was evacuated while police investigated.” Obviously, schools throughout the United States are on high alert because of the Florida school shooting still and are taking no chances.
The name of the pilot or other details about him were not released by authorities, as the incident remained under investigation. Hamilton, Ohio is located in Butler County and is situated in the southwestern corner of the state. It’s part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area and has a population of more than 60,000 people.
News that turned out to be false – that the school had been evacuated – quickly spread on social media. For example, one woman wrote on a news article purporting that a low-flying plane was near the school that “Kudos to Badin and Hamilton police for evacuating the school quickly! Our community’s prayers are with Badin today.” She then updated the post that there was no evacuation of the school. The plane is no longer in the air.