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'Explosives' at Harvard University cause evacuation

16th December 2013
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Threee of the four buildings evacuated at Harvard University have now been given the all-clear.

The Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson halls were evacuated around 9am local time and the Department of Homeland Security was called in after “unconfirmed reports of explosives,” said to have been received in an email.

Whilst the Science Center remains closed, the other buildings have now been declared safe. 

The university, in Massachusetts, north eastern USA, earlier released a statement on its website that read: "The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) this morning received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed in four buildings on campus -  the Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson Halls.

"HUPD and Cambridge Police are on the scene. Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated. 

"Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff.  We will update the media when we have more information."

There have been no reports of explosions, according to the university’s official twitter account, although an emergency alert was posted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police, sniffer dogs and a bomb squad are were campus throughout the day, according to reports.

The Harvard Crimson reported that students were evacuated from the affected buildings just after 9am and that the morning's exams in these locations were cancelled.

Finals have begun at the university, which is one of the most prestigious in the world as is ranked amongst North America’s top Ivy League institutions.

An alert on the university's website read that "Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff.  We will update the media when we have more information."

The Crimson reported that just after 10am local time "Lowell House Co-Master Diana L. Eck wrote, “No devices have been found and there is a strong sense that the areas are secure.”

Harvard University's online emergency alert meanwhile reiterated that the reports are unconfirmed, and says that the "situation is ongoing,"

It was also confirmed just before 11am local time that President Obama had been notified and that he was being kept informed of developments, although it is now being reported that the alert was in fact a hoax.




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