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Boston University Evacuated Buildings Because of a Hoax Emergency Call

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Early Friday morning, Boston law enforcement responded to reports of an individual barricaded inside of a room with hostages in Boston University’s Mugar Library, The Boston Globe reports. The call came in around 8:30 that morning, claiming the incident was taking place in an office on the fourth floor, and Boston University issued a warning at 8:55 to urge people to steer clear.

Boston, Boston University, and state police arrived on scene, heavily armed and with the bomb squad in tow, and cleared the street in front of the student union while they searched the area. By 9:32, they came to the conclusion that the call was a hoax, Boston PD spokesman Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy said.

Shortly after, the area was reopened to street and pedestrian traffic, and around 10:30 a.m. the student union and library were reopened.

CBS Boston reports that the phone call to BU police lasted about ten minutes, and that the caller reported that they had guns and explosives. One clue that it might have been a hoax? According to CBS, the caller claimed "room 420" in the library was booby trapped—when no such numbered room exists. This may, obviously, have been a weed joke

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans apologized to anyone that was affected by the hoax. “We were on the line with the individual, so we treated it very much like it was the real deal,” he said.

A BU spokesman says that police are looking into the possibility of the call having come from overseas, CBS reports. Mayor Marty Walsh spoke to WBZ-TV in studio about the hoax. “I think even though this is a hoax, you have to take it seriously. You just never know,” he said. “If there’s one potential call that comes in that we don’t respond to, that could be the call where a problem could have happened.”


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