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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Harvard evacuates 4 buildings after bomb threat

Four buildings at Harvard University were evacuated and morning final exams were canceled Monday after the school said it had “unconfirmed” reports of explosives.

Harvard issued an alert on its website, on Twitter and emails citing “unconfirmed reports of explosives at four sites on campus: Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson. Please evacuate those buildings now.”

The school tweeted that there had been no explosions. Faculty, staff and students were being updated through “Web, email and voicemail,” the website said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated,” the website statement said. “Harvard’s focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will update the media when we have more information.”

The university said school and Cambridge, Mass., police were investigating. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Police said they sent K9 and special operations units to the scene. State troopers from the K9 and bomb squads also responded, Massachusetts State Police said. Boston police also were involved.

Jay Harris, dean of undergraduate education, told students gathered at Harvard’s Annenberg Hall, the freshman dining facility, that Monday morning final exams had been canceled due to the scare, The Crimson, Harvard’s school paper, reported.

“Following announcement, students erupt in applause,” the Crimson tweeted.

The main campus of the school, among the nation’s most prestigious, sits on 210 acres in Cambridge. Harvard’s student body includes about 6,700 undergraduates and another 14,500 graduate and professional students. Final exams have been taking place for several days, and scores of finals were scheduled Monday.

John Bacon and Donna Leinwand Lege

Source: USATODAY

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