Harvard University all clear after evacuation

"They were about to start [the final exam] and the fire alarm started and they evacuated everyone," said one student

Students are returning to Harvard University after part of its campus was cleared amid a report of explosives.

Students were told evacuate a dorm, two classroom buildings and science centre at 09:00 (14:00 GMT) at the elite college in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

All have now been reopened after the university said no explosives had been found.

Final exams, which had been under way at the elite college, were cancelled in the affected buildings.

Harvard said earlier in a statement: "The Harvard University Police Department this morning received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed in four buildings on campus: the Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson Halls."


The campus was cleared "out of an abundance of caution", added Monday's statement.

Are America's frequent lockdowns at schools and colleges an overreaction to the threat of mass shootings?

Two law enforcement sources told CNN they believed the report of explosives to be a hoax.

It is the latest security threat to a US school in recent months.

In November, another Ivy League institution, Yale University in Connecticut, was locked down for nearly six hours following a report of an armed man, which was later found to be a hoax.

In February, a gunman was reported on the campus of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That alarm, too, later proved false.

Amid the ongoing threat of mass shootings at US schools, such alerts are an almost daily occurrence, though most turn out to be nothing.

A BBC investigation found that, just in the month between 9 November and 9 December, US schools or college campuses were placed on "lockdown" on at least 130 occasions.

Campus police and local police are on the scene

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • Stained glass of man with swordFrance 1 England 0

    The most important battle you have probably never heard of

  • Golden retriever10 things

    Dogs get jealous, and nine more nuggets from the week's news

  • Pro-Israel demonstrators shout slogans while protesting in Berlin - 25 July 2014Holocaust guilt

    Gaza conflict leaves Germans confused over who to support

  • The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-SabahFreedoms fear

    Growing concern for rights as Kuwait revokes citizenships

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • CastleRoyal real estate

    No longer reserved for kings and queens, some find living in a castle simply divine


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.