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University of Iowa News Release

 

Aug. 13, 2007

UPDATED: Buildings Evacuated But Suspicious Package Contained No Explosives

A suspicious package found outside of a University of Iowa building did not contain explosives, UI Police said this afternoon. The Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad exploded the bag at about 2:20 p.m. They were able subsequently to confirm that the package did not include any explosives.
 
Jessup Hall and Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus were evacuated about 2 p.m. today after the suspicious package was found outside of the south side of Jessup Hall, according to UI Department of Public Safety Director Chuck Green. The all-clear was sounded at 2:30 p.m. and people were allowed to re-enter the evacuated buildings.

Before the package was exploded, in addition to evacuating Jessup and Old Capitol, faculty, staff and students in MacLean Hall were also moved to the south side of the building.

The package, a black backpack, was discovered stuffed underneath an air conditioning unit by a member of the university’s Facilities Service Group at 1:38 p.m. It was later moved with a remote device by members of the Iowa City and University of Iowa police department bomb squads and opened with a high-powered water explosive. An inspection of the opened package found no explosives.

The University of Iowa received an anonymous e-mail this morning indicating there were four pipe bombs on campus building and grounds, according to a campus-wide e-mail sent from the UI Department of Public Safety.

Green said that the e-mail was sent to a UI employee who works in Seashore Hall, but that the threat didn't indicate where the pipe bombs supposedly are or why they were put there in the first place.

"No other packages have been found at this time, but we ask UI personnel to be on the lookout for anything suspicious," said Green. "If anyone finds anything resembling a pipe bomb, they should not approach it, evacuate immediately and call 911."

All area law enforcement and the local fire departments were notified.
 
In the meantime, UI information technology employees are working on tracing the e-mail to find out who sent it.

Anyone with any other information is encouraged to call UI police at 319-335-5022

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000

MEDIA CONTACT: Charles Green, 319-335-5026, charles-green@uiowa.edu, or Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972