University of Texas campus evacuated: Bomb threat phoned into Austin campus
The University of Texas remains under emergency conditions Friday afternoon, hours after officials and police cleared the campus after a bomb threat was phone into the Austin campus.
According to KEYE-TV in Austin, a man claiming to have ties to Al-Qaeda phoned the University of Texas campus and said he had planted bombs in buildings all over campus.
The caller, who campus officials said had a Middle Eastern accent, said the bombs would go off in 90 minutes. The call came into campus just before 8:45 a.m. local time. Those 90 minutes passed without incident, officials say.
Campus officials say that while activities at the school will resume at 5 p.m., all classes for the remainder of Friday have been canceled.
A KXAN reports cites a university spokesman who says that the campus was evacuated "out of an abundance of caution."
School officials said via Twitter that buildings on the Austin campus are in the process of being checked and cleared.
Buildings being checked/cleared. Stay away from buildings. No decision on afternoon classes/activities. Next update at 10:45am.— UTAustin (@UTAustin) September 14, 2012
The University of Texas' website, www.utexas.edu, currently directs to an emergency information page telling everyone on campus to immediately evacuate all buildings and get as far away from campus as possible.
The school's official Twitter account (@UTAustin) also advised the campus community to evacuate the campus.
Evacuation due to threats on campus immediately evacuate all buildings get as far away from the buildings as possible. More to come.— UTAustin (@UTAustin) September 14, 2012
Most students appeared to be leaving campus in an orderly and calm manner. Police blocked off roads to the 50,000-student campus as lines and lines of cars sat in gridlock trying to get out.
By 10:30 a.m., the university issued another advisory saying that buildings were still being checked and that no decision had been made on whether the campus would reopen for afternoon classes.
Ashley Moran, a freshman from Houston, said she was waiting to get into class when word quickly began spreading among students to leave immediately. She described the evacuation as "orderly but tense."
"It makes me really nervous I just know we're supposed to get out," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.