Suspicious package identified behind Hamburg Hall; bomb threat negative

A suspicious package was identified at approximately 12:30 Thursday afternoon on the Carnegie Mellon campus. The package was found in a car behind Hamburg Hall, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

At about 12:30 p.m., a car belonging to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police chased
a small white compact car into the Forbes Avenue driveway and pulled it over in front of Newell-Simon Hall. The driver was the only person in the car. Shortly thereafter, several unmarked police cars barricaded the suspicious vehicle in front of the Collaborative Innovation Center.

The university did not issue an official evacuation notification.

The Allegheny County Bomb Squad, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Carnegie Mellon University Police, and University of Pittsburgh Police arrived on the scene to investigate the package, which they found to be a liquid, according to the Post-Gazette.

The package was confirmed to be a facsimile of a weapon of mass destruction. The package was in the backseat of a car belonging to a Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, where it was spotted by another student. The university contacted the bomb squad, which investigated the package and found it to be harmless. The squad also checked the interior of Hamburg Hall and used bomb-sniffing dogs to ensure that there were no hidden bombs in the area.

However, it is a felony to own a model of a weapon of mass destruction, and the student was arrested by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Students on the walkway between the Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC) and Hamburg Hall were detained inside the CIC, according to a student. The student and her co-worker were only able to exit the building when an employee of the CIC showed them how to exit the building through the garage.

Police also rerouted traffic on Forbes Avenue between Craig Street and Morewood Avenue.

Police confirmed that the bomb threat was negative. The area was cleared around 2:20 p.m. At that time, pedestrian and vehicular traffic was resumed on Forbes Avenue, and the entrances to the CIC, Newell-Simon Hall, and Smith Hall were re-opened.

University Police declined to comment on the situation.