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Bomb threat prompts Louisiana State campus evacuation

September 17, 2012|By Matt Pearce
  • Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University's Baton Rouge campus. A bomb threat forced evacuation of the campus, one of a string that has unsettled several American universities in the past week.
Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University's Baton Rouge campus.… (Ken Lund / Flickr )

Officials evacuated Louisiana State University on Monday after yet another bomb threat forced students to leave a campus.

A caller phoned in a vague threat to 911 that was received by the East Baton Rouge Parish emergency center at 10:32 a.m., university spokesperson Kristine Calongne told the Los Angeles Times. University officials blasted out an evacuation notice on social media platforms a little over an hour later, at 11:37 a.m.

By Monday evening, law enforcement officials were allowing students to return to dorms and some other facilities while continuing to inspect  the rest of the campus. Classes were canceled for the day.

“We have a huge campus, so it takes a little time,” Calongne said. 

Unless police find a bomb, the threat looks to be yet another hoax — the fourth to strike an American university in the past week. The trend is a tough one for school officials who must protect students even from potentially spurious threats since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and a gunma's rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007.

On Friday, a caller phoned in a threat against the University of Texas in Austin, claiming ties to Al Qaeda, as  a wave of anti-American sentiment swept the globe because of an anti-Islam video gone viral. The same day, other threats chased students from North Dakota State University in Fargo and Hiram College in northeastern Ohio.

Officials continued to investigate those threats on Monday but had yet to announce any suspects or arrests.

University of Texas officials faced criticism for waiting before evacuating the Austin campus. The caller in that threat had said the bombs would go off within 90 minutes, officials said, and law enforcement began searching the campus before an evacuation notice was issued.

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