Princeton University's entire 500-acre campus, in central New Jersey, is currently being evacuated after the university received multiple bomb threats targeting an array of campus buildings. Princeton's website published a notice concerning the threats on Tuesday morning:
BOMB THREAT ON CAMPUS; evacuate immediately
There has been a bomb threat to multiple unspecified campus buildings. Please evacuate the campus and all University offices immediately and go home unless otherwise directed by your supervisor. Public Safety officers and Princeton Police will direct drivers leaving the campus and those without cars will be directed to evacuation sites. You will receive an update later today. Do not return to campus for any reason until advised otherwise.
A pedestrian square on the edge of Princeton's campus was evacuated in November 2010 after local police received a single bomb threat. Social media channels of the university and its paper, The Daily Princetonian, did not have any additional information on hand. Public safety personnel were heard being dispatched to Princeton's campus over a local police scanner accessed online.
Update, 5:30 p.m.: The search for explosives continues, while the university hopes to re-open later tonight:
Searches of campus continue and further progress has been made. The University still hopes to reopen this evening but no final decision has been made. When a decision is made, students, faculty and staff will be notified through the University's PTENS emergency messaging system. The University homepage will be updated then.
Update, 3:55 p.m.: Bomb-sniffing dogs have not found any bombs on Princeton's campus, as of twenty-five minutes ago:
The searches are expected to continue for a few hours more, and University officials hope to reopen campus this evening. However, no decision to reopen will be made until the searches are completed. As of 3:30 p.m., no explosives had been found. Bomb-sniffing dogs brought in from law enforcement agencies were on campus, and University officials were doing other searches.
The school added: "The bomb threat at the University was one of a number of similar threats around the United States today."
Update, 2:05 p.m.: The Daily Princetonian reports that some Princetonians were confused about how to evacuate:
Jameil Brown ’16 was in Frist Campus Center at the time of the evacuation notice. No alarms went off inside of the student center, Brown said, and occupants were only made aware of the threat by PTENS notifications.
“Someone just came in and told us we had to evacuate and it was an emergency,” Brown said. “We were not given any specific instructions other than what the alert said about getting off campus and going into town.”
Update, 2 p.m.: Princeton's campus has been successfully evacuated and is currently being inspected by bomb-sniffing canines, According to another update on Princeton.edu update:
Law enforcement authorities are inspecting buildings on the Princeton University campus in the wake of a bomb threat. Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in, and the search of campus facilities was expected to take several hours. No estimate on when the building sweep might be completed was available at the time of this update. The University takes all threats to the safety and well being of our community members and visitors seriously and is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Update, 12:20 p.m.: Princeton officials have posted an update on Princeton.edu confirming that the entire university has been evacuated and that "the University's Department of Public Safety is investigating the threat with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies." The update predicts more information will be released around 1:30 EST.
Update, 12:00 p.m.: Princeton professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was affected by the evacuation:
Blogging Disrupted by Bomb Threat
Seriously — the whole Princeton campus is being evacuated. In a coffee shop now, but as you can imagine some things I was supposed to have done have been pushed back, and blogging will have to wait.
Update, 11:55 a.m.: A Twitter account maintained by Princeton, New Jersey's police department tweeted that Princeton's downtown core, where the university is situated, has been blocked from incoming traffic on U.S. Route 1, a major road serving the town:
Traffic inbound to Princeton from Rt 1 is closed at this time. Outbound traffic is being allowed at this time. Please avoid downtown.— Princeton Police (@PrincetonPolice) June 11, 2013
Update, 11:40 a.m.: Princeton Patch reports that whoever made the bomb threats gave the school two hours to evacuate:
Princeton University has been evacuated after someone reported that multiple bombs have been placed throughout campus and that the univeristy had two hours to get everyone to safety, according to Princeton Police.
Police could not say when the call reporting the bombs was made.
Update, 11:30 a.m.: The helicopter of Philadelphia's NBC affiliate is currently circling Princeton's campus. Watch the aircraft's live feed below:
Update, 11:10 a.m.: Princeton's Twitter feed clarifies that most enrolled students departed a week ago:
Regular classes are over and Commencement was last Tuesday. Most students left campus days or weeks ago.— Princeton University (@Princeton) June 11, 2013