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Canada bomb threat: 60 schools evacuated

Pupils were herded out of school towards 'safe' designation spots
Pupils were herded out of school towards 'safe' designation spots Independent News & Media

ALL schools have been evacuated in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island following a potential bomb threat, say police.

More than 60 schools are affected.

Parents have been told they can collect their children from schools' designated safe locations.

Sergeant Kevin Bailey said local law enforcement got a call from Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Ottawa to say they had received a fax which threatened schools in Prince Edward Island.

The fax had indicated that a bomb had been placed in schools - it did not specify which of the more than 45 schools - and the bombs would be detonated on Wednesday, he said.

He added that the police had attended the schools, and consulted with staff, asking them to look out for anything suspicious.

The police did not bring in search dogs or carry out searches themselves. He said it would take "weeks" for dogs to sniff out every inch of the schools.

"There was no threat found. We are also aware that similar threats were found at schools in Nova Scotia and we are following up whether that threat is related to this one."

He said he did not know who was responsible but the police are investigating how many people were involved and whether the threat was a hoax.

He called for parents to remain calm.

Mr Bailey pointed out that this incident was a first in the history of the province.

"I don't recall such a threat to all schools in Prince Edward Island [before]," he said.

Parker Grimmer, director of the public schools on the Island, said he hoped this would not happen again.

"This is new for us. But we have procedures and plans and I'm confident we followed them," he said, adding that the schools would review their emergency process in case of a future evacuation.

College campuses in Nova Scotia were also evacuated earlier in the day following bomb threats but it is unclear whether the two events are related.

One of the campuses received a bomb threat shortly before 8am while the other campus had an unspecified threat, say police.

Prince Edward Island University was also closed down.

No injuries have been reported and all students are expected to return to school and college as normal on Thursday.

Two other "suspicious items" were reported outside cabinet and government offices in Halifax and near a library. They turned out to be a water cooler and rubbish, and police gave the all clear shortly after they were called to the scene.

The provnce is Canada's smallest, with a population of around 146,000.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau returned to Ontario last night after attending the United Nations summit in New York.

Topics:  bomb threat, canada, evacuation, school


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