Students charged in explosion

Police say three student-athletes were among four men responsible for a chemical explosion inside a Lenoir-Rhyne University dorm earlier this week.

Hickory fire and police responded to Morgan Dorm just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a call of an explosion.

Authorities found a plastic drink bottle that had been placed in a bathroom and exploded due to a chemical reaction from the contents inside, said Libby Grigg, chief’s assistant at Hickory Police Department.

No injuries or damage occurred.

Four students turned themselves in to authorities Thursday and are charged with disorderly conduct.

The student athletes arrested include Zachary Kent Thomas, 18; Steven McGhee, 22; and Michael Schlegelmilch, 20. 

Thomas is listed as a freshman offensive lineman on the football team, according to Lenoir-Rhyne University’s website. On the same website, Schlegelmich is listed a sophomore defender on the lacrosse team, while McGhee, also a sophomore, is listed as a goaltender.

Dakota Keith Meadows, 19, was also charged.