Nation-wide bomb threat ‘hoax’ impacts Florida Southern

Jillian Kurtz      This story is still developing.

Emails containing bomb threats to several staff members at Florida Southern resulted in the evacuation of three college buildings around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 13.

Edge Hall, Roberts Academy and the Rogers Building were evacuated. The threat may be a part of a nation-wide bomb threat “hoax” that affected hundreds of places across the country, but this has not been confirmed at this time.

According to an email from Bill Carew, Director of Safety and Security, several staff members received an email around 1:30 p.m. indicating there may be an explosive device in their buildings.

The emails that were received by staff members appeared to be the same as threats that was sent to Polk County Public Schools a few weeks ago.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that they were “aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Although the content of the emails sent to Florida Southern staff have not been disclosed at this time, nationally, other emails contained demands of payment through Bitcoin in order for the suspected bombs to not be set off.

Students and parents were notified of the incidents through the Safety Office’s text notification system.

These were the messages sent:

2:13 p.m. LPD is investigating an incident at Edge Hall, No students are in danger, will send updates shortly

2:17 p.m. LPD is investigating an incident at Roberts Academy no students, staff or faculty are in danger

2:40 p.m. All Clear, the Lakeland Police Department has cleared all buildings.

All the buildings were cleared by the Lakeland Police Department bomb K-9 unit.

All other locations on campus, including Jenkins Field House, host of tonight’s women’s basketball game against Bluefield State at 5:30 p.m., were cleared by FSC Safety and the Lakeland Police Department.  

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