(Photo: Reuters/Evan Semon)
An L.A. bomb threat sparked an evacuation of the Cal State L.A. campus on Thursday, with classes canceled as officials carried out their search of buildings.
The bomb threat did prove to be false, however, in the aftermath of the incident students and faculty members aired criticism of the way that school officials handled the emergency.
Shortly after 11 a.m. ET the El Monte Police Department received an emergency call suggesting a bomb threat on the campus. The unidentified caller reportedly stated that a bomb would be exploding on the campus in about two hours time.
Quickly news spread to both Cal State L.A. officials and the Los Angeles Police Department, and authorities worked with campus police to investigate the threat.
School administrators meanwhile commenced evacuation procedures.
According to Jon Beaupre, a Cal State L.A. journalism professor, the school's fire alarm was set off at approximately 12:15 p.m local time.
He explained later that aA he and students evacuated their building, they were informed that a bomb threat had prompted the evacuation.
"That led to a mad dash, grabbing bags to get people out of here," Beaupre told The Associated Press.
He went on to describe to the AP a chaotic scene of vehicles getting caught up in heavy traffic as they attempted to frantically exit the area.
"Apparently we can get people out of the buildings, but getting traffic away from campus is not easy," Beaupre explained.
Since the threat, many staff and students on the campus complained about the lack of information and direction from campus officials.
One student, Jonny Barrios, has said, "I'm assuming it's a hoax, but by the way they're taking it — especially after Boston — they should have better communication of telling students what's going on instead of 'Get out, get out, get out!'"
Here is a video of the chaotic scenes as people try to evacuate the campus on Thursday, sparking a huge traffic jam: