Three campuses at the University of Southern Maine returned to normal Monday afternoon after a bomb threat closed them this morning (April 3).

Campuses in Gorham, Portland, Lewiston-Auburn and the university’s offices in Augusta were evacuated and searched. “Nothing was found,” said university spokesman Bob Caswell.

University police said the three campuses were evacuated following a “non specific” bomb threat. Caswell said it marked the first time the entire university had been closed by a threat in the 26 years he has been there. “What a disruption,” Caswell said.

Caswell said regular classes resumed at 4 p.m.

Three threats were received at the Portland campus, according to university spokesman Dan Davidson. One threat was received at the president’s office and two others went to vice presidential offices. Davidson said it hadn’t been determined whether one individual made the three threats.

A university police department dispatcher said the first of the threats was received at 9:18 a.m.

A Cumberland County dispatcher said that Gorham police and firefighters responded at the Gorham campus. Caswell said that there are just under 11,000 students and 1,500 employees at the university’s three campuses.

The Portland campus was cleared at about 2 p.m. and Lewiston-Auburn at 2:45 p.m. Police cleared the dorms in Gorham at 1:30 p.m., shortly before the academic buildings. About 1,300 students live in dorms on the Gorham campus.

Caswell said seven different agencies, including state police and canine units, responded to the threat. The bomb squad from the Brunswick Naval Air Station was dispatched to the university’s Lewiston-Auburn campus. “USM police are heading up the investigation,” Caswell said.

Updated information regarding the threats and closures will be available on the university’s website at www.usm.maine.edu or by calling 780-4800.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: