UPDATE: Bomb hoax angers Iowa students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Bomb hoax angers Iowa students

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Police are now investigating after a suspicious package forced nearly 700 University of Iowa students to evacuate Bunger Hall.

Police found a suspicious package near an elevator.  The Johnson County Bomb Squad was among the agencies responding.  Officials blew-up the package and found it was not an explosive.  However, police believe someone tried to make it look like one and are investigating.

It all happened just before 5:00 Thursday evening. As many University of Iowa students were studying in Burge Hall, they received knocks on the door and were told to evacuate because of a suspicious package found in the elevator.

"We were actually out shopping and everybody called and they're like there's a bomb threat," said Burge resident Becky Hole. "Nobody knows what's going on."

Caution tape surrounded Burge Hall for several hours Thursday night as the Johnson County Bomb Squad inspected the package. Around 9:00, the bomb squad detonated the package.  They discovered it was not an explosive device, but believe it was made to look like one.  Police processed the area as a crime scene.

"A lot of people had a lot of anxiety from finals and the storm anyway," said freshman Jordan Imoehl. "This is just adding to it."

Matt Harmon was studying for a Friday morning final in his room when his resident advisor told him to evacuate.

"Originally the RA came to my door and said it was going to be about a half hour," Harmon said.

So Harmon left his books behind. Now he and many others have missed out on precious minutes to study.

"I was just kinda of angry because I was counting on this time to study for my final tomorrow," said Harmon.

"My books and my computer and everything that I would use to study so right now I'm kinda just out here with nothing left," said fellow freshman Devin Wagner.

It's just one more thing piled onto an already stressful week.

"It's not even phasing me because it's so ridiculous," said Burge Hall resident Maria Vorhis.

Students finally returned to their dorms just before 10:00 pm Thursday.

Many students were just trying to grab a final few things before hitting the road to go home. Now some will likely be stuck in Iowa City until Friday or even Saturday because of the weather.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel 

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