COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University reopened two labs Tuesday night that were targeted in a bomb threat that prompted the school to close four buildings, including the main library, and three streets, disrupting campus life for hundreds of students, staff and faculty.
The library and a third lab were scheduled to reopen later
Tuesday. No bombs were found in the two buildings that were
reopened, and an earlier search of all four turned up nothing out
of the ordinary, officials said.
The threat was in a message received Tuesday at FBI headquarters
in Washington, said Paul Bresson, a spokesman based there. The
bureau had several leads and was continuing to investigate, its
Cincinnati spokesman, Michael Brooks, said late Tuesday.
Ohio State is one of the nation's largest universities, with
more than 56,000 students at its main Columbus campus. Campus
police said they were alerted at 8:19 a.m. Tuesday that the threats
involved the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library and three
Authorities did not identify the source of the bomb threats.
Bresson declined to provide information about where the e-mail
appeared to come from or whether the FBI believed the threat was
University officials did not give details on the nature of the
threats and declined to speculate on why the four buildings were
"It's a little worrisome. Maybe there won't be a warning next
time," said Todd Elder, 21, a psychology major from Columbus.
Staff members outside one of the labs had thought they were
being evacuated for a routine fire drill. Many left purses, coats
and car keys in their offices and were stuck waiting for hours in
the cold rain as investigators went through the buildings with
Art history professor E. Okechukwu Odita was stranded because
his car was parked behind police tape.
"I appreciate what they are doing. We don't want the whole
place to blow up," Odita said as he waited on a bench near the
Students and faculty members were warned by text-message alerts
and online and phone messages to stay clear of the buildings
through the afternoon, said Bob Armstrong, the head of university
emergency management. Some students complained they received alerts
more than an hour after they were sent.
Public Safety director Vernon Baisden said he could not specify
how many students were affected by the evacuations.
Baisden said other classes and functions on campus continued as
scheduled, though some students said instructors had called off
some classes in buildings near the evacuated labs and library.
The Thompson library sits at the head of the campus' central
green, The Oval. Also affected were McPherson Chemical Lab, which
houses the chemistry and astronomy departments; Smith Laboratory,
which houses engineering experiments and anthropology; and Scott
Laboratory, a mechanical engineering building.
Threats Shut Down 4 Buildings on Ohio State Campus
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