COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KXAN) - Just after 4 p.m. Friday, Texas A&M University officials reopened the campus after evacuating the site due to a bomb threat received late morning.
The announcement posted on the university's website said that officials are confident event venues are safe. However, uncleared buildings remained closed as of 4:09 p.m.
According to the university's emergency page, "Students, faculty and staff will be allowed back on campus to retrieve their personal items and vehicles starting at 4 pm . It has been five hours since the initial threat was received, and the investigation is still ongoing. Other areas are still being searched. The high-traffic areas including the residence halls, MSC, Reed Arena, Kyle Field have been cleared. All essential personnel and those involved in this evening's activities need to report as scheduled."
Officials at Texas A&M University issued at "Code Maroon" at 11:34 a.m., Officials sent on the alert which read:
"Bomb threat received for campus in general. Evacuate campus by foot immediately. Do not use a vehicle."
At 11:40 a.m, the campus website stated, "Classes are cancelled. Persons on main campus proceed north to Church Str. or south to Anderson Str."
At 12:27 p.m., the website stated that "all activities" were canceled until further notice.
At 1:53 p.m., the website stated: Campus remains closed. Searches of campus underway. Continue to monitor emergency.tamu.edu.
At 2:30 p.m., officials posted a change with regard to evening events: Events planned for campus this evening have not been cancelled. Facilities being searched to insure safety for those events.
Campus emergency procedures per A&M website:
- Evacuation orders to be disseminated via Code Maroon
- Do not activate the building fire alarm system to achieve evacuation
- Remain calm but act quickly
- Promptly secure equipment, research, etc. in safe shutdown condition before leaving
- Spread the word of the evacuation order to others as you exit the building
- Remember to take personal belongings with you (backpacks, briefcases, purses, car keys, personal computing devices, etc.)
- Pedestrians should exit campus by the shortest route, walking north towards Church Street or south towards Anderson park - use crosswalks, obey police direction - do not impede traffic flow
- Exit campus as directed in the Code Maroon message
- You may use your vehicle to leave campus unless directed otherwise in the Code Maroon message
- If possible, Transportation Services will continue to operate off-campus routes, outbound only. Bus pickup locations may be altered, changes will be announced and posted at http://emergency.tamu.edu
- Transportation Services Paratransit can be reached by calling 979-845-1971
- Transportation Services staff may direct traffic at some on-campus intersections
- Police will assist with traffic control off campus
- Do not call 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone) unless there is an immediate, life-threateing emergency
- Go to http://emergency.tamu.edu for regular updates on the emergency situation and information on returning to campus
Texas State University
Thursday, Texas State University in San Marcos evacuated its admissions building and several dorms after a threat of bombs was emailed in.
Last month, The University of Texas at Austin was evacuated after a caller claiming to be Al Qaeda told the school there were bombs placed in buildings.
The Texas A&M incident is the third bomb threat in the past month at a major campus in Central Texas.
These false threats cost the schools, state and federal agencies time and money.
In Thursday's Texas State bomb scare, Austin Police bomb squad, FBI, Department of Public Safety, San Marcos Police Department SWAT, and other agencies responded.
That is a lot of manpower, vehicle use and fuel.
Since the attacks 9-11, safety and security has become more of a priority, and no threat is taken lightly.
But there are major consequences for anyone trying take advantage with false threats.
"With regards to a campus, probably looking at a third-degree felony, which is anywhere from two years in prison up to 10 years, " said Mindy Montford, KXAN's legal expert.
Right now, all three university bomb threats are under investigation with several leads.
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