No bomb found in University of Minnesota buildings after threat warrants evacuation
No bomb was discovered after a note found in a University of Minnesota building warned of bombs going off in several buildings on campus, triggering an evacuation of several buildings, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_5695553). The note was found in the men's bathroom of Smith Hall, home of the University's chemistry department. Kohltoff, Smith, Frasier, Johnston and Morrill halls as well as the Walter Library and the Science Classroom Building were all evacuated initially. Appleby Hall was evacuated later.
Due to the Monday's incident at Virginia Tech, where a gunman shot and killed 32 people, authorities were not willing to take any chances. There are no suspects and the FBI was notified.
Classes were cancelled for the rest of the night for those buildings, while campus activity continued in all other buildings.
The note threatened five buildings on campus. University officials said they were anticipating copycat attempts and hoaxes of Monday's tragedy.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, authorities described the evacuation efforts as calm and orderly (http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1129296.html). Students were said to be more in a state of confusion than panic.
The threat also disrupted a meeting of U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. She and others were evacuated from a meeting room in McNamara Alumni Center. Secret Service agents were sent in and found no bomb. The rest of the building was not evacuated.
I thought it was interesting that the Press story waited until the fourth graph to reveal that no bombs were found, while the Tribune put that in the lead. Both stories had very similar structures. Focusing on the specifics of the threat and the evacuation efforts taken by police. These parts were well sourced, using good quotes from Hestness and other university officials. The Press article ended by focusing more on the student reaction to the threat, with several quotes from different students evacuated because of the bombs. I liked the human aspect but I thought it was given a little too much weight in the story. On the other side, the Tribune story didn't get any student reaction, which I felt made the story slightly incomplete. It focused much more heavily on the efforts of the U of M to notify students of the threat. I like the inclusion of the Transport Secretary story. That was interesting to read and closed off the story in an interesting way.