AUSTIN (KXAN) - University of Texas students are trying to get their day back to normal -- even with classes canceled -- after a bomb threat from someone claiming to be with al-Qaida triggered a mass evacuation across campus.
Some students leaving campus Friday morning in the rain stopped to talk to KXAN News, saying they lived inside a dorm and heard the news from their resident assistant -- who came knocking frantically on the room doors for everyone to leave immediately.
Some students said they felt panicked, while others said they kept calm throughout the ordeal. Still, it was a scramble for everyone to get out.
"I was freaking out and like trying to find my friends," said freshman Jaelyn Jackson, who said she was in class when she got the text message. "It was raining. It was cold. It was hectic."
Adjusting to the environment, Jackson said she's been at UT for just three weeks now. She added she felt a bit unprepared.
"Because I was in class having a normal discussion, and all of a sudden I receive a text," she said. "'Is this a joke? A drill?' ... It was definitely crazy, and I was just not prepared."
Jackson said she's heading to a friend's apartment off campus, where she feels she'll be safer.
"Now that it's calmed down and people are just starting to slowly go their way ... right now, I'm feeling good. i feel a little bit calm," she said. "Waiting to see what happens next."
Classes at UT are canceled for Friday following a bomb threat from a caller claiming to be with al-Qaida who said he placed bombs all over campus.
Campus officials have also said buildings may be re-entered at noon and that all other activities would resume at 5 p.m.
Around 11 a.m. UT officials sent out a text message via their emergency alerts system that the time specified for bombs to go off had since passed.
UT Director of Communications Rhonda Weldon said the university got a call around 8:35 a.m. from a male with a Middle Eastern accent claiming to have placed bombs all over campus. That's when campus officials began the campuswide evacuation.
"Immediately evacuate ALL buildings and get as far away as possible," read a message posted at 9:53 a.m. on the campus' emergency alert website. "More information to come."
The caller said said he was with al-Qaida and that these bombs would go off in 90 minutes, which would have timed out about 10 a.m.
President Williams Powers had been notified, and that's when officials began the evacuation out of an abundance of caution.
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