LSU residence halls reopened after bomb threat on campus

Published: Sep. 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2012 at 1:26 AM CDT
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Empty campus after the evacuation
Empty campus after the evacuation
Traffic backed up because of evacuation at Burbank and West Parker
Traffic backed up because of evacuation at Burbank and West Parker
Gridlock on campus
Gridlock on campus
Students being evacuated
Students being evacuated

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The LSU campus in Baton Rouge was evacuated due to a bomb threat Monday morning, and just less than eight hours later, residents living on campus were allowed back into their dorm rooms.

The residence halls and the 5 and 459 Commons dining halls were reopened at 7 p.m. Monday. UREC has been checked and cleared and will be open until 11 p.m. Monday.

Officials request that on-campus travel be restricted to the reopened buildings only.

During a news conference held at 4:45 p.m., officials say the bomb threat is an ongoing criminal investigation. The campus is still under evacuation orders and will be until every building on campus is checked and cleared. There are 250 buildings on campus.

"The decision had to be made to clearly protect those for whom we are responsible - our faculty, our staff, our students and those visiting our campus," said Dr. William Jenkins, interim president.

The alert sent out by LSU states that everyone needs to evacuate the campus as calmly and quickly as possible. Louisiana State Police Chief Mike Edmonson says that all faculty and staff were cleared from the campus in less than an hour.

"The campus will not reopen until it's all clear," said Col. Mike Edmonson with the Louisiana State Police, calling the effort to evacuate students, faculty and visitors "pretty phenomenal."

Students are ordered to stay off campus until further notice. The text message sent out by LSU officials says "LSU continues to investigate the bomb threat reported earlier today. Please stay off campus unless directed to return. Check for updates. LSUEOC."

The buildings will be opened up one by one after they are checked and cleared, however, the campus will not reopen until all buildings are checked and cleared.

LSU Vice Chancellor of University Affairs, Herb Vincent, says the bomb threat was called into the East Baton Rouge Parish 911 call center. It was then transferred to the LSU Police Department.

LSU Interim President Jenkins made the decision to evacuate the campus.

The University made no comment when asked if it was a credible threat or if a device was found.

No specific location has been given for where the call came in or what area was threatened.

The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, FBI, ATF, Louisiana State Police, along with the LSU Police Department are all involved in the investigation of the bomb threat.

The evacuation alert was sent at 11:32 a.m. According to LSU officials, the bomb threat was called in at 10:30 a.m.

Last week, both the University of Texas in Austin and North Dakota State in Fargo received bomb threats on Friday, Sept. 14. The threats prompted both campuses to be evacuated, but no explosives were found.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact LSU Police at 225-578-3231.

WAFB normally does not report bomb threats, as to not encourage people to call them in and to not cause unnecessary panic. Because of the impact it's having around Baton Rouge, we feel it should be reported.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.