LOWELL (CBS) – An 11-year-old Lowell boy was in the wrong place at the wrong time, his family says, when he was hit by a chemical reaction bomb.
Nicholas was walking home from school, his sister Simone Leite tells WBZ, when he took a short cut past O’Connell Alternative School. That’s where a group of young boys was playing with a so-called “soda bottle bomb.” One of the youths threw the bottle and it hit Nicholas.
Witnesses say it sounded like a gunshot or a firecracker.
Leite says her brother’s friends immediately called their mother. “They called my mom and yelled ‘It’s a bomb’ and my mom’s like, ‘that’s not funny,’ and they said, ‘no, it’s serious.'”
Nicholas was rushed to the hospital. He was eventually taken to Boston Medical Center to be treated for burns to his eyes.
Nicholas attends a different school and doesn’t know the kids who threw the bomb.
Lowell Police say one juvenile is under arrest, charged with assault by means of a dangerous weapon and possession of an explosive device.
Nicholas was released from the hospital late Monday night. His family says he was brave throughout the traumatic ordeal.
“He’s the same happy kid he always is. He wasn’t crying. He said that he’s going to be OK, for everybody to be strong for him and he’s going to be fine,” Leite said.
Messages left for the Superintendent of Lowell Public Schools were not returned.
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