- (Photo: Screenshot via Twitter/The Harvard Crimson)
Four buildings at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., were evacuated Monday after the school received unconfirmed reports of explosives on campus.
The Ivy League school's Science Center, Thayer Hall, Sever Hall and Emerson Hall were evacuated of students and faculty on Monday as police did a sweep for possible explosives. Students were in the middle of taking their final exams and teachers were forced to postpone the tests in light of the bomb threat. The four buildings possibly containing bombs are all near Harvard Yard, the center of the university's campus.
Video footage from local media outlets shows students spilling out of Thayer Dormitory onto nearby streets and moving into Annenberg Hall, a dining hall, as police searched each building. WHDH, NBC's affiliate in Boston, reported that police had uncovered two suspicious packages during their sweep and cleared at least one of them.
Harvard issued alerts of the unconfirmed bomb reports on Twitter and its university website to notify students and faculty of the threat. Its Twitter page read that there had been "unconfirmed reports of explosives at four sites on campus: Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson. Please evacuate those buildings now."
The university website added that "out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated. Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will update the media when we have more information."
A law enforcement official told HLN-TV that authorities were made aware of possible explosives on campus after a threat was phoned in.
The university's student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, tweeted that when school officials announced that all final exams at the university would be canceled due to Monday's interruption, students reportedly "erupted in applause."
In addition, The Boston Globe tweeted that police from five different agencies, including state troopers from the K9 and bomb squad branches, are present on campus conducting the search.
The Ivy League university, considered to be one of the top universities in the U.S., is located in a suburb of Boston, Mass., where back in April the city went into shut down mode while authorities searched for suspects connected to the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. At the attack, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated at the marathon's finish line, killing five and injuring nearly 300 people.