Over 60 schools and universities in eastern Canada evacuated over threats
In a statement to the press, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Police Sergeant Kevin Bailey said that an anonymous faxed letter had warned that bombs were placed in several schools, but would not say where or when exactly they would explode.
Every single school in PEI was evacuated because of a bomb threat.— Chelsea Scott (@LittleMissV6) September 21, 2016
That's every single school in an entire province.
That is terrifying.
“The message stated the bombs had been placed in a number of schools and would be detonated today but did not specify a time,” said Bailey, “There is an active investigation to identify the person or persons responsible.”
All of the island’s 63 schools, including kindergartens, were evacuated, while Parker Grimmer, director of PEI’s board of public schools, explained the board had been contacted by law enforcement regarding a “a threat that was of a significant nature.”
The University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College were also shut down for the day, the University announcing its closure on social media.
UPDATE: The University of Prince Edward Island is closing for the day effective immediately.— University of PEI (@UPEI) September 21, 2016
Earlier, the RCMP released a statement, announcing: “School emergency evacuation plans have been activated." The statement added that staff were “taking students to safe locations in the community” and advised parents to “wait for further instructions to pick up their children once the facilities are cleared.”
Safe and orderly evacuation of Sherwood School after PEI wide school bomb threat. pic.twitter.com/bH9V8NZFwp— Dave Holland (@Jayzfan) September 21, 2016
However, after a thorough search by officers and K-9 units, no devices had been found. Threats had also been made against two Nova Scotia Community College campuses as well as Cape Breton University, all of which were evacuated. But when a bomb disposal team examined a suspicious package at the NSCC Halifax campus they found it to be merely garbage.
Update from RCMP - school evacuations were a precaution. There has been no injuries and everyone is safe.— PEI Public Safety (@PEIPublicSafety) September 21, 2016
Bailey also noted that a school had been threatened in the United States, though did not offer any details. Coolidge Senior High School in Washington, DC. was briefly evacuated according to ABC 7 News, but students were soon back in class.
Meanwhile, threats have also been made to schools in Winnipeg, again via fax.
“The Winnipeg Police Service responds to incidents of this nature with the highest priority,” the Winnipeg police said in a statement. “While resources are being deployed to ensure there is no risk to students or staff members, early indications are that the threat is unfounded.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the situation is under control and all schools and children are safe. So far, no suspects behind the threats have been identified.