Dozens of people contacted KRTV on Thursday night wondering about some very loud booms that they heard.
It happened at about 8:45 pm. Many of the reports came from areas along the south side of Great Falls, and some people said they heard more than one.
Among the comments on the KRTV Facebook page :
- Kim Thielen Sayre: "Heard by Lincoln Elementary, hubby said it was the usual rail car bang we always hear, but I say these were a different kind of boom."
- Stephanie Ree Kunkel: "Heard it at my moms on 13th and 2nd ave south!"
- Dena Mindrup Wouters: "I’m at 25th Ave S and 18th st....we’ve heard two big booms."
- Diane Renee Whitmore "Yes!! It shook my house!"
The mystery was solved when the Cascade County Sheriff's Office revealed the cause : "Night 7 of the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy featured our SWAT team. Our team did an amazing job explaining our mission. As a bonus we blew stuff up!"
The Sheriff's Office told KRTV on Friday morning that 911 Dispatch was notified of the event ahead of time.
The Sheriff's Office used the Great Falls Fire Training Center at 1900 9th Street South to demonstrate the use of "flash bangs" for Citizens Academy participants. The Citizens Academy is program that allows people to learn about the duties and responsibilities of the Sheriff's Office and its personnel. The Sheriff's Office plans to host another Citizens Academy, but the date has not yet been determined.