PANIC IN THE HOLY CITY … BUT FOR WHAT?
Adding to the chaos? Conflicting reports over the veracity of the initial warnings … which the school later disavowed and blamed on “bad coding.”
The bomb threat was first reported Tuesday morning on the College of Charleston campus – specifically near the Beatty Center (located at 5 Liberty Street in downtown Charleston). Students were notified of the threat – and told to prepare for possible evacuations – via the school’s Cougar Alert system.
“A bomb has been found on the College of Charleston campus,” the alert stated. “If you are on campus, prepare immediately for possible evacuation.”
A notification was also posted to the school’s Facebook page at 11:07 a.m. EST.
Here’s a look at the warning …
(Click to enlarge)
Naturally, panic ensued.
“They found a bomb on campus,” College of Charleston student Mackenzie Logan tweeted. “Just ran out of my classroom as fast as I could. Never been this shaken up in my life.”
Meanwhile parents reported receiving calls regarding a “credible bomb threat” on campus. They were urged to contact their loved ones and tell them to “stay away from the business school and Craig Hall,” a three-story residence housing approximately 150 students.
Of course moments after the warnings were issued, school officials said there was “no bomb” – blaming a faulty dispatch code for triggering the alarm. Also the Facebook warning quickly vanished from the internet.
Nonetheless, police in the Holy City – who say they received credible threats against the school Tuesday morning – were taking no chances. Armed with automatic rifles, they descended on the campus – shutting down streets and evacuating students, faculty and staff from multiple buildings.
“There is a bomb squad here,” Logan tweeted from downtown Charleston. ” They said it’s an active threat.”
She added police were “closing down everything.”
University public safety officers and Charleston, S.C. police were the first officers to respond to the threat … which authorities picked up at approximately 10:59 a.m. EST. They say the threat was made via telephone, and referenced bombs in two buildings on campus.
UPDATE: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.