YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsIvc

IVC campus evacuated after caller reports bomb

March 15, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — A bomb threat at Imperial Valley College on Wednesday night resulted in classes being canceled and the campus being evacuated.

Victor Jaime, IVC vice president for student services, said shortly before 6 p.m. a call came into the campus switchboard.

Jaime said a female who did not identify herself called to warn campus officials that she overheard two men talking about setting off a bomb in the evening at IVC.

Jaime said the caller hung up before an administrator could talk to her, so as a precaution administrators evacuated the main and extended campuses, since the caller didn't mention a particular campus.

The Imperial County Sheriff's Office was notified and sent its arson unit and other deputies.

Jaime said administrators organized themselves and were sent to evacuate all the buildings on the main campus.

Police departments from El Centro, Brawley and Calexico were notified and evacuated the extension campuses in their cities.


The main campus was evacuated in about 20 minutes.

"It went very smoothly," said Jaime.

"Everybody seemed to be very calm," he added.

One accident occurred during the evacuation, a minor tapping of car bumpers in a parking lot in which neither vehicle received any damage.

After evacuating the campus, arson investigators divided into eight groups with custodial staffers to search for a bomb. Jaime said custodial staff were used because they know the campus best.

The campus was searched and no bomb was found. The sweep ended at about 9:20 p.m.

The campus was reopened to the public but classes for the night had already been canceled.

Jaime said 80 classes and about 1,600 students were evacuated at the main and extended campuses.

"Everybody cooperated very well. Students didn't panic and everyone exited in an orderly fashion," he said.

Students on their way to the 7 p.m. classes were informed classes were canceled.

"I think it was a hoax," said Jaime, "but it's always a wake-up call to be prepared at anytime, not just for bombs but for earthquakes and other incidents."

Jaime said law enforcement officials from the Naval Air Facility El Centro assisted in the evacuation of the main campus.

"It was a great joint effort," said Jaime.

"They were all extremely professional and very well-organized," he added.

The last bomb threat the campus received was about 10 years ago. The campus received four threats that year.

Classes resumed as scheduled this morning.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles