UPDATE: A third HawkWatch alert sent at 2:47 p.m. said that the Bethlehem Fire Department determined that the suspicious backpack found in Packard Lab poses no threat. The building is now safe to enter.
A suspicious package was reported inside of Packard Laboratory, according to an email from the HawkWatch alert sent at 1:50 p.m.
An updated HawkWatch alert was sent at 2:29 p.m. to state that a backpack was found in a stairwell in Packard Lab, which will be X-rayed by the Bethlehem Fire Department to determine its contents.
A final exam was in progress when students were told to evacuate the building immediately and advised to stay clear of the area. The HawkWatch alert also warned students to not enter the area.
Police and fire officials arrived on scene, and a bomb squad truck arrived a few minutes later. By 2:20 p.m., caution tape was being set up
to block off the University Walkway, which leads up to the University Center.
The Lehigh University Police Department would not immediately answer questions.
“I’m so heated. I’m upset I studied so hard for this exam, only for it to end in mayhem, but I’m glad they’re keeping us safe,” said Katelyn Grimes, ‘20.
Students taking exams were released from the evacuation after 20 minutes of standing outside the building, said Avery Humphries, ‘21, one of the students taking the exam in Packard.
An alert also showed up on university computers.
“I had to evacuate and leave all of my belongings in Packard Laboratory while studying for finals,” said Elizabeth Kolaski, ‘21.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.