A U-Alert was issued in response to a possible bomb threat that was suspected to be near the lake of the Engineering Building this morning. The notification was confirmed to be a false alarm. While this Thursday morning may have provided a scare for some individuals, the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville is confirmed to be safe. There was no danger that approached the students of UAH.
The sun had risen over the Salmon Library just like any other average Thursday morning at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Yet at 8:47 a.m., the UAH Police Department received a tip that would make this particular Thursday morning anything but average.
According to Ray Garner, the UAH Director of Community Relations, a gentleman who was walking his dog had suddenly come across a suspicious box, the size of a shoebox covered in duct tape and tied to the leg of a table. After receiving the tip, the UAH police department immediately responded to the situation. Soon after encountering the box, they secured the area and allowed for the Huntsville Police Department Bomb Squad to investigate the issue.
By that time, around 9:31 a.m., a U-Alert was sent to UAH students in order to warn about a possible looming bomb threat. A 300 ft perimeter was then established which resulted in the closing of John Wright Drive, Knowledge Drive, Sparkman Drive, and Bradford Drive. As an effect, traffic was rerouted, and students were directed away from the area near the lake across from the Engineering Building.
Eventually, the HPD Bomb Squad had arrived on the scene. To better analyze the unidentifiable box, they had sent out a robot. The HPD Bomb Squad had then planned to run an x-ray on the unidentifiable object. Although, before the HPD ran an x-ray on the object, a UAH student in the Cosplay Club intervened and explained that the box was not a threat.
Instead, the box was a part of an approved cosplay scavenger hunt for homecoming week that the organization was hosting. However, the Cosplay Club had failed to communicate the event to the UAH Police Department.
In total, there were six boxes placed around campus. The one box that was found near the lake by the Engineering building was ultimately destroyed. The other five boxes were located and secured. Their locations ranged from the Frank Franz building to the UAH sign. At the time of the publication of this article, all of the boxes have been safely disposed by the UAH Police Department.
At 10:49 a.m., an “All-Clear” U-Alert was sent out to UAH students on campus. According to the UAH Police Captain Dianna Marshall, “there was never any actual danger to the university.” All UAH students are able to rest assured that the campus is safe.
As the day progressed, and the sun passed through the sky, the day had proven to be anything but ordinary. This homecoming season at UAH, this Thursday will certainly be known as anything but average.