Authorities Friday were investigating a 911 call claiming that a bomb would explode at the Governor's Mansion, which resulted in evacuation from the state Capitol of more than 1,000 people, including more than 500 schoolchildren who were there for a special event.
No arrests were made as of late Friday, although the Oklahoma Highway Patrol initially said a woman had been taken into custody.
No injuries were reported.
A woman called Oklahoma City's 911 emergency line at 10:25 a.m. Friday and said a bomb would explode in five minutes in the Governor's Mansion and another building, patrol trooper Betsy Randolph said.
Gov. Mary Fallin, who was in her Capitol office, ordered the Capitol to be evacuated as she was being escorted out of the building.
More than 500 fifth-graders from across the state, dressed in colonial attire, were in the Capitol taking part in the annual Colonial Day, a study in the history, culture and personalities of 18th-century America.
People were allowed back into the Capitol about an hour later. Most stood outside in chilly weather; some of the nearly 600 Capitol employees went to their vehicles.
Doug Kellogg, the Capitol's building manager, and Joel Kintsel, parliamentarian and administrator of the House of Representatives, ushered about 300 of the youngsters and their parents and teachers out of the cold into the auditorium of the Sequoyah Building near the north plaza of the Capitol.
Law officers talked to the woman whose name was given as the 911 caller, but determined she didn't make the call, Randolph said.
Before investigators cleared the woman, it was misunderstood that a suspect in the bomb hoax was in custody, Randolph said.
Students respond well
During the evacuation, a few of the Colonial Day presenters, dressed as George Washington and other colonial characters, gave their talks and presentations on the Capitol lawns.
“I guess it's a part of the memory,” said Kay Cho, as she stood outside watching a presentation to a group of students that included her son, Jonathan Kim, a student at Fisher Elementary School in Moore. “The kids are not complaining too much. … They're good troopers here.”
Cho said her daughter attended Colonial Day two years ago at the Capitol. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred then.
Many of the students were learning colonial dancing when the Capitol's public announcement system called for an evacuation.
“They just picked it up without missing a beat,” said Alice Graddy, a fifth-grade teacher from Adams Elementary School in Norman. “We just wish it was a little warmer outside.”
Parent volunteer Frederick Hart, whose son attends the same school, said he was concerned about the students' well-being. The students had been asked to leave their jackets and belongings on the bus, Hart said.
“I feel like my kid's going to get pneumonia before we go back into that building,” he said.
Some students were loaned jackets by employees of the state treasurer's office. About the time teachers began shepherding some students to buses, people were allowed back into the Capitol.
Chip Oppenheim, past president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, said the evacuation was a disturbance event organizers had not considered. Nothing like this had ever happened during the annual field trip event at the Capitol, he said.
“They didn't have those back in Colonial days — not the big bombs,” he said.