All Clear Given at UTPB Following Evacuation Wednesday 4/24/13
(Odessa)- A big part of the UT-Permian Basin campus was evacuated for about 2 and a half hours Wednesday night.
Odessa Police, UTPB Police and the Fire Department were called out after reports of a suspicious package found inside one of the buildings.
Most all of the campus is back open.
Students at UTPB received a text message or alert through the Falcon Alert System at about 5:30 pm, to evacuate the Mesa Building, the parking lot, and little while later, some nearby buildings.
It was reported that a suspicious black briefcase was on the second floor of the Mesa Building.
Many students we spoke with say at first they thought it was a test or a joke, but that soon changed.
Kayla Henry told CBS 7: “"At first we didn't want to believe it was real. Someone said some smoke in a sack, cause that's happened before. I just didn't know if it was real."
Imoni Cross of Sonora, also a freshman says: “We didn't think it was real and went on lifting. Then when a police officer came in we could see it was real."
Jack Ladd with the UTPB School of Business was also forced to evacuate.
Like the students he wasn’t sure what was going on: “Alarms and drills. We do them all the time. I just thought it was another drill."
By 8:00pm, UTPB officials gave the all clear saying that the briefcase was not a threat.
The Mesa Building will remain closed Wednesday night.
Classes are expected to resume Thursday morning.
UPDATE 8:15 P.M.
Police deemed the package as not a threat. School officials are opening up all buildings except the Mesa building.
UPDATE: 7:06 P.M.
UTPB's Public Information Officer has spoken with us, saying that the OPD bomb squad is working on a briefcase that had been long abandoned on the second floor of the Mesa Building
UPDATE: 6:00 P.M.
UTPB President Dr. David Watts says that the Odessa Police Department bomb squad is on the way to UTPB to investigate a suspicious package found on the second floor of the Mesa Building
UPDATE: 5:45 P.M.
The Odessa American is reporting that the Mesa building was evacuated due to a suspicious package that was found on the second floor.
ODESSA - Students called the CBS7 Newsrooms saying that the entire campus is being evacuated due to an emergency situation inside the Mesa building.
Officials say not to enter the Mesa building under any condition.
Stay tuned for more details.