SUNY CAMPUS EVACUATED WITH BOMB SCARE
A Bomb Scare Had Fire and Police evacuating students and anyone else on the SUNY campus evacuate the premises on Wednesday morning and put the buildings and surrounding blocks on lockdown. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were soon on the scene as well as fire response teams Newburgh and Vails Gate Police, a helicopter and the Rockland County Sheriff’s Bomb Disposal Unit. The campus stayed on lockdown for the afternoon while a package at the Maples Building (where Social Security is located as well as classrooms) was investigated by the bomb squad. The squad determined that the device was “inert” and taken to the Newburgh City crime scene unit for further study.
Additional searches were done throughout the campus, along with K-9 units and the scene was determined to be safe with an “all-clear: given shortly after noon. Students were then permitted to enter the Tower building and Kaplan Hall to retrieve their belongings and vehicles. Evening classes were rescheduled to be held as usual.
A student (who wishes to remain anonymous) who was on the scene said: “I was in the first floor of the Tower Building, which was being evacuated. A police officer walked in and said, “Get out, don’t even take your stuff.” They didn’t want anyone getting their backpacks or anything. Just wanted everyone out and to safety. Fire trucks were rolling up Broadway, across from the police station and barricades were already up by the time I got outside. The parking garage was immediately on lockout. They wanted everyone out ASAP. Then they physically locked the parking garage. Probably bomb protocol, maybe they were worried about a possible second device in the garage. Every five minutes, more and more police officers and firefighters were showing up. At first, they cancelled classes until 2:00 p.m. Then they cancelled everything for the rest of the evening. The bomb squad was there, state police, and at one point a state police helicopter. A three block radius was closed off. A lot of students went into the nearby Hudson Valley Christian Church, which opened its food pantry called The Backdoor Cafe to feed people. At first everything as very chaotic, obviously. But the police soon corralled people into safe areas and made sense of the situation.”
(Story contributed to by Eugenia Moskowitz)