Harvard: ‘Unconfirmed Reports’ Of Explosives On Campus [Updates]
Students were asked to immediately evacuate four buildings, but the buildings were cleared and reopened on Monday.
UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: All four buildings are now cleared and have reopened. “ I am relieved to report that no suspicious devices were found. Safeguarding our community in this instance unfortunately required the disruption of exams and the evacuation of one of our freshman dormitories. The HUPD, in close cooperation with local, state and federal agencies, is continuing to investigate this incident to determine who may be responsible,” said Katie Lapp, Executive Vice President of Harvard.
12:54 p.m.: According to Harvard officials, two of the buildings, Thayer and Emerson Hall, are cleared and students may return inside. Sever and the Science Center are still closed. Homeland Security has joined the bomb probe.
EARLIER: Through a tweet and an email, officials at Harvard University asked students and faculty to immediately evacuate four buildings on campus Monday, citing “unconfirmed reports” of explosives.
The buildings that were told to clear out are the Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson.
Alert: Unconfirmed reports of explosives at four sites on campus: Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson. Evacuate those buildings now.
— Harvard University (@Harvard) December 16, 2013
The school reiterated that there were no detonations at any of the locations, and that the reports of “bombs” were under investigation. Members of the campus police department and officers from the Cambridge Police Department were on scene at all four buildings following the evacuation. Officials said that the report indicated that explosives may have been placed in four campus buildings. “Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated. Harvard’s focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will update the media when we have more information,” they wrote.
The emergency situation also prompted a response from the State Police:
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) December 16, 2013
The Harvard Crimson staff, who were on scene during the investigation, tweeted a photo from campus and reported that final exams scheduled for Monday morning had been cancelled because of the alleged bomb scare:
— The Harvard Crimson (@thecrimson) December 16, 2013
Warnings were sent out through the school’s emergency broadcast system, and the community was notified through a variety of mechanisms including the online, email, and voicemail. The Harvard homepage also broadcasts an alert and directs users to an emergency page outlining the University’s response. There will also be messages on the University’s 24-hour news line, according to the school’s emergency response website.
By 10:48 a.m., nearly two hours after the initial reports came in, access to Harvard Yard was restricted to people with University ID’s only. The school said in an alert that there was no reason to believe that “there is a threat to any other site on campus.”
Anyone with information should call the campus police department at 617-495-1212.