PRINCETON: University campus reopened after bomb threat

The Princeton University campus reopened at 6:25 p.m. on Tuesday after being closed most of the day for a bomb threat.

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
    The Princeton University campus reopened at 6:25 p.m. on Tuesday after being closed most of the day for a bomb threat.
    Law enforcement searched the campus without finding any explosives, the school said. The school said it would continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to determine the source of the threat.
  An “unspecified” bomb threat made against the University Tuesdaymorning led to the evacuation of roughly 6,900 people from all campus and off-campus buildings.
   The phone call came in around 9 a.m. to multiple school buildings, the university said. University spokesman Martin A. Mbugua, addressing reporters outside Robertson Hall in the afternoon, declined to release details about whether the caller was a male or female, where specifically within the university the call was received or other specifics due to the ongoing investigation.
   The school’s Department of Public Safety, the lead agency in the investigation, was working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. In a search expected to last hours, law enforcement officials were sweeping campus buildings with the aid of bomb dogs, Mr. Mbugua said.
   As of 3:30 p.m., no explosives had been found. The searches were expected to continue for a few hours more, and university officials hoped to reopen campus this evening. However, no decision to reopen would be made until the searches were completed.
   The bomb threat at the university was one of a number of similar threats around the United States on Tuesday.The evacuation, affecting students, faculty staff and those on campus for summer programs, applied to buildings on and off campus, Mr. Mbugua said. Only a few hundred students are on campus, as the academic year has ended. The university held commencement last week.
   The university waited until around 10 a.m. to give the order to evacuate, a full hour after the threat came in. Employees were instructed to go home, Mr. Mbugua said. Public safety officers and Princeton police directed drivers leaving the campus and those without cars were directed to evacuation sites at the Nassau Inn, Princeton Public Library and the Princeton Arts Council building in the downtown (see related story).
   Roads in the area were reported to be congested.
   Service on the Dinky was suspended for one hour starting at 11:45 a.m. due to police activity, NJ Transit said. Service was restored at 12:45 p.m., said Courtney Carroll, an NJ Transit spokeswoman.
   All outdoor and after-school activity was suspended at Princeton Public Schools for “precautionary” reasons, Superintendent Judith A. Wilson said.
   University employees were told not to return to campus for any reason until advised otherwise. Except for essential workers from Public Safety and the Department of Facilities, employees are not expected to return to campus for work Tuesday.
   Uniformed university safety officers were posted at various gates to the campus and not allowing people to enter.