Sacramento State University bomb scare prompts partial evacuation

Sacramento State University students and faculty were treated to an unpleasant interruption Thursday morning, when four suspicious packages found near Guy West Bridge prompted a partial evacuation of the campus and concerns about a coordinated attack.

The campus police department received a call about the packages just before 9 a.m., January 9, the department said in a release on its Facebook page. The parcels were phone cord-wrapped and taped bundles that appeared similar to ones found in previous incidents, the first of which occurred September 2013, the release states. Just like those previous incidents, however, the parcels were duds, containing “an assortment of debris, including rocks, wires, batteries, metal bolts and a magnet.”

As a precaution, university police performed a partial evacuation of the campus’ non-destruct laboratory near some greenhouses and closed State University Drive near Sequoia Hall for roughly three hours, until a bomb squad unit could X-ray the packages and determine they weren’t a threat.

News of the actions came through the police department’s and university’s Facebook pages, but some Sac State workers complained they should have been notified through more direct channels.

“I do find it very disturbing that I work on campus and the only way I can find out about campus shutdowns and evacuations is by checking the facebook page of our police department?” a Facebook user identified as Joel Shinneman wrote on the university’s Facebook wall. “I would gladly trade email notifications about the hiring of a new faculty member in the arts and letters college for information on threats and evacuations near my office.”

Authorities have booked the non-explosive parcels into evidence. No suspects have been identified at this time.

Additional reporting by Cody Drabble.

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