I've just learned that there was a bomb scare in the Baker Systems Engineering building at the Ohio State University. I work in the Central Classroom Building, which is next door - right now there are police everywhere and lots of yellow tape. If this develops into anything I'll keep this updated.
Update 1: 11:42am
Apparently a suspicious package was discovered in Baker Systems. Right now there are several layers of tape blocking off about half of the university. The police officer I spoke with was unable to comment but told me where to go look for the press officer, so that's my next attempt. In the meantime I'm including a few photos.
Update 2: 11:57am
Most of the caution tape has been removed although one entrance to the Baker Systems building remains cordoned off. It looks like most of the panic has subsided but there are still lots of cops around. Nobody would give me a statement, but I ran into Da Woon Joo, an intrepid reporter from the Lantern, OSU's student newspaper, who told me that he'd been next door at the time. Apparently, he says, they found a suspicious briefcase and evacuated the building. Obviously it was not a drill, since the place has been swarming with cops ever since.
I'm going to continue trying to find the elusive "chief", the only one apparently allowed to talk to anyone about what's going on.
Update 3: 12:05pm
There is some small amount of coverage here from the local news channel, they will likely update that as they know more. So far, they are reporting that at about 11:20am someone yelled "fire in the hole" and there was a small detonation in the Baker Systems building.
No injuries were reported but apparently an unattended briefcase was found in the hallway after the blast and that's what's kept everyone else on edge.
Again, more information as I have it.
Update 4: 12:25pm
I've spent the past 20 minutes calling the columbus city police, who knew nothing; the osu police, who said that a statement has not yet been released; and an official within the police who I was told might be able to help me. He has so far not answered his phone.
According to the 10tv site, what happened was this: an unattended briefcase was discovered, possibly as early as 9am. At 11, the police came in and evacuated the building. At 11:20, people outside heard someone yell "Fire in the hole!" and heard a small detonation - this was probably the police destroying the suitcase. 10tv is now reporting that the case seemed to contain some kind of repair kit.
Update 5: 1:35pm
I've just been in touch with the Columbus Fire Department and was given the following information:
The Columbus Bomb Squad was called in because a suspicious metallic box was left in a stairwell in Baker Systems. The box had tools and such inside and was described to me as similar to a repair kit. As a precautionary measure, three buildings (Dress Labs, Campbell Hall and Baker Systems) were evacuated and the bomb squad remotely detonated the box. No explosive elements were found and there was no threat called in or anything like that. The situation was resolved with no injuries and the case is considered closed.