POSTED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 10:18am
UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 12:04pm
Cambridge, Mass — Harvard University ordered four buildings evacuated during final exams and police swept the campus Monday after what the school said were unconfirmed reports of explosives.
Harvard police said that they had an unconfirmed report of explosives in four buildings — the Science Center, Thayer Hall, Sever Hall and Emerson Hall. Thayer Hall is a dormitory, the other three academic buildings. They are clustered together near Harvard Yard, at the historic center of campus.
Cambridge, Mass., police said that a threat came in by email.
“It is a serious matter. We’ve seen in the past year with the Boston bombings that things like this are not supposed to be taken lightly,” David Bicknell, a Harvard junior, told MSNBC. “It’s just a sense of unease.”
Final exams were scheduled in two of the four buildings Monday, according to a school calendar. The school canceled exams for the morning and said it would have a decision later about afternoon exams.
Police were investigating two suspicious packages and cleared at least one of them, according to WHDH, the NBC affiliate in Boston. There were no reports of explosions.
Some students were moved into Annenberg Hall, a dining hall. Others spilled onto nearby streets on a frigid morning. The school closed Harvard Yard to people with Harvard identification.
A White House official said that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation.
Last month, another Ivy League school, Yale University, was locked down for almost six hours after a report that an armed man was hearing to the school. Authorities later said it was believed to be a hoax.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.