January 22nd, 2021

Bomb threat prompts evacuation at college

By Lethbridge Herald on January 28, 2020.

Lethbridge Police Service was on hand as the campus was evacuated Tuesday afternoon at Lethbridge College. Police say an emailed bomb threat to the college originating out of the country was determined not to be a credible threat. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Tim Kalinowski
Lethbridge Herald
Lethbridge College was evacuated on Tuesday due to a bomb threat.
Reports came in early in the afternoon verifying that college students were being asked to “evacuate immediately” and “pack their belongings and leave in an orderly manner.”
Later the college gave an update informing students and the public that “the campus will be closed for the remainder of the day. Everyone is asked to avoid the Lethbridge College campus until further notice. Updates will be posted to the Lethbridge College website.”
The Lethbridge Police Service confirmed a “threat” had prompted the evacuation in a release later in the day.
At a media availability held at police headquarters late Tuesday, LPS Insp. Jason Doberstein gave more details and confirmed the threat in question was actually a bomb scare.
“Through our investigation we determined the email potentially has come from overseas,” said Doberstein, later confirming it likely originated in the United Kingdom, “and there is no credible threat at all there is a bomb in the college.”
Doberstein also confirmed the LPS would still launch an investigation, but was coming at it more as a cybercrime than as a physical threat in this instance.
Lethbridge College vice-president of corporate services Simon Griffiths said the college’s emergency measures worked well to help students evacuate quickly.
“The evacuation went really well,” said Griffiths. “It took a number of minutes to do. We have got a college-wide telephone system where we are able to broadcast this type of message through to the entire college community so everybody hears it at the same time.”
The only complication, said Griffiths, were some traffic jams as students tried to leave the college’s parking lots all at the same time. He said the college will likely work with the LPS to set up some better traffic control measures in case there are similar evacuations in the future.
He said the college’s student residences were also evacuated briefly on Tuesday as a precaution, and students were asked to remain at the Lethbridge Soccer Centre until the all clear was given. The students had returned to their residences by late afternoon, he confirmed.
Classes will carry on as usual today, Griffiths stated.
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