OTTAWA, Kan. — Ottawa University closed and evacuated buildings Thursday morning after three suspicious packages were found on campus.
The FBI and Topeka Police Department bomb squad responded to the scene and about four hours after it all began, authorities determined the bags and packages were not dangerous.
“We are extremely grateful that this incident did not prove to be a credible threat to our campus and that all of our students and staff are safe,” said Dr. Dennis Tyner, Vice President and Provost of The College in Ottawa. “Their safety is our number one priority, which is why we implemented the protocol that was followed for responding to this incident. We are pleased that the protocol was effective and proud of our emergency response team and the way they handled the situation.”
The packages were discovered near Tauy Jones Hall and Mowbray Student Union. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office told FOX 4 that an oddly shaped, canvas bag with electrical tape around it was found at about 5:45 a.m. at Tauy Jones Hall.
University administrators informed students and staff through the emergency alert system and by email of the evacuations. Neighbors and community buildings around the campus were also notified.
A bomb squad was called in to inspect the bags and when they determined they were not a threat, they gave the all-clear and the campus was reopened at approximately 10:15 a.m.
Ottawa is about an hour southwest of Kansas City, Mo.
Tauy Jones Hall, which authorities at first identified as a residence hall, is actually an administration building.