CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Four buildings on Harvard University's campus were evacuated Monday after police received an email claiming that explosive devices may have been hidden inside, but after hours of searches and disruptions to final exams, no suspicious devices were found.
The buildings were evacuated and access to Harvard Yard was restricted after the email was received at about 8:40 a.m. Monday, shortly before students were set to begin final exams.
Investigators from several agencies searched the buildings for hours and cleared students to return to all four by mid-afternoon. One of the buildings was a freshman dormitory; classes are held in the other three.
In a statement to the Harvard community, Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said that the buildings were evacuated "out of an abundance of caution" and that activities at the Ivy League school in Cambridge were returning to normal.
"I am relieved to report that no suspicious devices were found," Lapp said in her statement.
She said Harvard police, and local, state and federal authorities, are continuing to investigate to find out who is responsible.
Harvard officials would not comment on speculation among students that the email was a hoax timed to coincide with finals at the school.
"I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn't have to take an exam," said Alexander Ryjik, a junior from Alexandria, Va., who was just about to take his Politics of American Education final when the evacuations were announced.
"It's frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed," he said.
Harvard did not immediately say when students would be allowed to take the finals that were cancelled because of the evacuations.