University Police safely evacuated about 200 people and re-located 22 in-patients yesterday afternoon following a bomb scare at University Health Services (UHS). No one was injured.
Cornelius J. O'Brien, acting deputy chief of the Cambridge Fire Department, said yesterday Mabel Coney, a UHS clerk, received a telephone call at 2:05 p.m. from a man who announced that a bomb would explode on the first floor of UHS at 2:30 p.m.
Coney immediately phoned University Police and notified Dr. Sholem Postel, associate director of UHS.
Jack Morse, captain of University Police, said yesterday police arrived immediately and searched the first floor area after the evacuation. He said people familiar with bomb searches handled the case, but added that a bomb squad was on "alert and standby" in case the search team located a bomb.
University Police notified the Cambridge Fire Department as a precaution, Morse said, adding that they helped conduct the search.
Postel said only the fifth floor infirmary was not evacuated, adding that patients followed a special "disaster evacuation" procedure. Officials moved all in-patients to an enclosed corridor on the fifth floor to shield them from possible flying glass, that Postel called the main danger of an explosion.
Police allowed employees and out-patients to re-enter the building at 2:40 p.m., ten minutes after the time given for the bomb to explode.
Watching the Detectives
Saul L. Chafin, chief of University Police, said yesterday one detective is investigating the case--the first bomb threat on campus this year. Chafin said police now have no suspects.
During the late '60s, the University received bomb threats once or twice a week, Postel said, adding that although Holyoke Center received many such calls, to his recollection UHS had never been threatened.
The penalty for telephoning a bomb threat is 20 years in a state prison.