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All-clear issued after bomb threat at St. Thomas, classes to resume Thursday

April 17, 2019 06:42 PM

The St. Paul campus at the University of St. Thomas has been closed and classes canceled after the school received a bomb threat Wednesday. 

An all-clear was issued just after 4 p.m., though the school said the St. Paul campus would remain closed for the rest of the day. Regular operations are scheduled to resume Thursday.

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A school spokesperson said the initial call came in around 9:37 a.m. Wednesday, but did not specify a specific location. A second call came in around 10:10 a.m. that identified McNeely Hall as the location.

McNeely Hall and surrounding buildings were then evacuated.

"Students responded calmly, followed directions from university officials and made decisions regarding whether or not to stay on campus," St. Thomas Director of Public Safety Dan Meuwissen said at a press conference.

A University alert was sent to students that read, "A bomb Threat has been received for McNeely. Evacuate this building and the surrounding buildings. Go to JRC and ASC."

"We all got an alert on our phones, our emails, that there was a bomb threat in McNeely which is like the business hall on campus," St. Thomas student Samantha Hoanglong said.

"So they evacuated the building. Now people are gathering in our student center and other academic buildings."

The campus was closed, but not evacuated, the spokesperson said. Non-essential employees were sent home. But no suspicious objects have yet been discovered.

The St. Paul Bomb Squad has been contacted and the FBI is consulting, the University said in another alert.

Kat Barrett, a St. Thomas student, said she was walking home when she saw staff and children being evacuated from the child development center. 

"I saw the staff of the child development center wheeling out the children, like the babies, still in their cribs and I had no idea what was going on. Then I got the alert saying there was a bomb threat in McNeely," Barrett said. 

She added, "It's very weird, you don't expect this to happen on a Wednesday morning while you're going to class. I think people are really curious about how credible the threat is and what made them think it was credible enough to warn students and the campus and evacuate the building."

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