By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OTTAWA COUNTY, KS (KCTV/AP) -
Classes at Ottawa University, in Ottawa, KS, were back in session Thursday afternoon, after a potential bomb scare had the campus on lockdown most of the morning.
There were some tense moments for students and faculty at Ottawa University Thursday morning as the Topeka bomb squad had to be called in.
About 5:45 a.m., a maintenance worker noticed a suspicious-looking box on the steps of Tauy Jones Hall. Police were called and a total of three boxes were found around campus. That's when the school quickly went on lockdown, students from nearby Bennett Residence Hall were evacuated and people were warned to stay off campus. The campus was closed about 7 a.m.
"Several agencies responded to assist and eventually the packages were determined to pose no threat and were cleared," Capt. Adam Weingartner with the Ottawa Police Department said. "They were determined to be no threat and we don't think there was any criminal intent with the packages."
Students KCTV5 talked to said the packages were thought to be empty boxes from a possible student scavenger hunt the day before and they didn't feel like they were in any danger.
"It was really early and we had to leave, we were awakened and it was a little annoying," student Drinnan Sante said.
"It wasn't scary. It was 100 percent just silly from the start," student Matt Gray said. "Because it was so obviously not a bomb threat."
"I just did what I was told, but it was frantic. We had no idea. It's a small school - we didn't know what to expect," student Hannah Bevier said.
The school would not comment on what the boxes were but did say they were happy with how quickly the students responded.
"We are grateful this proved to not be a creditable threat, but we know, should we have one in the future, the system works well," University spokesperson Paula Paine said.
About 1 p.m. the university reopened and classes resumed.
The university has about 550 students at the Ottawa campus, which is about 50 miles southwest of Kansas City.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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