Source: The Daily Princetonian
A bomb threat alert was issued by the University on Tuesday at 10:26 a.m. The campus is now fully evacuated. Only essential employees from Public Safety and facilities are being asked to remain on campus.
Both the number of reported bombs and their location remain unspecified. University spokesperson Martin Mbugua confirmed that the initial threat was reported around 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“There has been a bomb threat to multiple unspecified campus buildings,” part of the message sent through the Princeton Telephone and Email Notification System read. “Please evacuate the campus and all University offices immediately and go home unless otherwise directed by your supervisor.”
There has not been any confirmation as to the presence of any bombs on campus.
The message added that Department of Public Safety officers and Princeton Police officers will direct drivers to evacuation sites. Those without cars will be “directed to evacuation sites” including Nassau Inn, Princeton Public Library and the Princeton Arts Council buildings. Faculty and staff were encouraged to remain at home.
Students who were on campus at the time of the threat reported confusion over where and how to evacuate. They noted that no alarms went off, and that they were entirely dependent on PTENS text messages, phone calls and emails for updates.
“After my roommate and I got the warning, we didn’t know where to go. Which direction should we go?” Jimin Hong ’15 said. “My roommate told me to call Public Safety and ask them. This guy answered — no help. He said, ‘I don’t know, ma’am’ and it kind of pissed me off.”
“The school should’ve had some kind of direction for the students,” Hong added. “That was very irresponsible of them.”
Jameil Brown ’16 was in Frist Campus Center at the time of the evacuation notice. No alarms went off inside of the student center, Brown said, and occupants were only made aware of the threat by PTENS notifications.
“Someone just came in and told us we had to evacuate and it was an emergency,” Brown said. “We were not given any specific instructions other than what the alert said about getting off campus and going into town.”
According to Mbugua, approximately 6900 individuals— including faculty, staff, students and participants in various summer programs— have been evacuated from campus.
There have been reports of heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic leading away from the University.
According to Princeton Police Sergeant Mike Cifelli, there is no inbound traffic from Route 1 to town or the University.
“The roads and traffic are very congested at this point with both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The Princeton Police is handling traffic as best we can with the knowledge that the evacuation did occur,” Cifelli said.
Cifelli also clarified the Princeton Police’s role in the evacuation, calling it “a courtesy” at the Department of Public Safety’s request.
“We are being guided by their protocol at this time as to the degree of our assistance,” Cifelli said.
According to an updated alert, the University’s Department of Public Safety is investigating the threat with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Department of Public Safety director of operations Stefanie Karp has been out of office since last Friday. When reached on her cell phone, Karp said she was on vacation in Spain.
The campus is expected to be open during regular business hours on Wednesday, according to an email from Executive Director of Public Safety Paul Ominsky.
Two bomb threats were reported in the area during the 2010-2011 school year, one in several laboratories and academic buildings on campus and one in Palmer Square. Both prompted evacuation orders, and all-clears were later issued in both cases.