Created on Monday, 10 October 2011 23:11
| A remote controled bomb disposal vehicle sits outside of the Physical Plant after a controled detonation. Photo by Nathan Cullitan | The Appalachian|
A bomb squad detonated a suspicious device in the Appalachian State University Physical Plant around 6 p.m. Monday.
University Police issued an “all clear” for the area surrounding the Physical Plant at 6:02 p.m., “when it was determined that the device was not harmful,” the university said in an email.
The device – at one point believed to be an inactivated bomb – was discovered in a staff locker at the Physical Plant around 2 p.m. Monday, Chancellor Kenneth Peacock said.
“The number one thing is campus safety - the safety of faculty, staff and students,” Chancellor Peacock said. “We closed off State Farm Road property and the physical plant. We’re worried it could impact student cars and the buses that drive through there.”
The area surrounding the Physical Plant, which includes the State Farm Parking Lot, was evacuated after “a suspicious device” was found within the premises shortly before 2 p.m., according to a university email sent at 2:10 p.m.
Chancellor Peacock later characterized the situation as a “bomb threat,” and said a bomb squad was responding in an announcement given around 3:25 p.m during a Faculty Senate meeting in I. G. Greer.
The campus’s emergency condition was listed as “Guarded” during the ordeal, meaning “there is some credible general threat information that may affect the university,” according to appstate.edu.
The State Farm Parking Lot was closed for several hours while law enforcement assessed the situation, and Appalcart buses traveling to State Farm Parking Lot were cancelled.
A university email urged students who needed to use a vehicle in the State Farm Parking Lot to “make alternative arrangements.”
The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office later determined that the device was not an explosive device.
Officers on the scene referred The Appalachian’s reporter to University Police.
University Police declined to comment.
Story: STAFF REPORTS
Photo: NATHAN CULLITAN, Photography Editor