More than 19,000 students have been evacuated from 60 schools across Prince Edward Island in Canada a bomb threat was sent to police by fax.
The full scale security alert saw pupils taken to a number of pre-arranged safe locations where they could be reunited with their parents.
Officers searched the schools but no devices were found, there were no reports of any injuries and police now believe that the bomb threat was a hoax. All the schools are due to reopen as normal tomorrow.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said after being briefed by the minister of public security: “All children are safe. As a parent I know how worrisome this type of situation can be.”
The alert happened after police in Ottawa received an anonymous fax warning that a bomb would explode at unspecified schools in Prince Edward Island – Canada’s smallest province, with a population of 146,000.
Sgt Kevin Bailey from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said: “To my knowledge there have been been no injuries, there’s been no threat found.
“I would feel safe for my child to go back to school. If nothing suspicious is found I’ll be satisfied that the threat is a hoax.”
When the schools evacuation got underway The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement: “Police agencies and school administration are evacuating all Prince Edward Island schools due to a potential threat.
“School emergency evacuation plans have been activated. Staff are taking students to safe locations in the community and buses are meeting them there. Parents need to meet their children at these safe areas. Parents and guardians are asked to wait for further instructions to pick up their children once the facilities are cleared.
“Further information will be made available as soon as possible.”
The new school district said: “Parents wishing to pickup students are asked to go to the school and will be directed to the evacuation area. If you don’t know where the safe area is, you will be directed by staff at the school.
Meanwhile in Nova Scotia, NSCC campuses in Halifax and Cape Breton have also been evacuated due to bomb threats but it is not yet clear if the evacuations are linked.
Halifax Regional Police responded to a call around 8 am to Nova Scotia Community College – Institute of Technology campus in Halifax’s north end “after the campus received a threatening message from an anonymous person.”
Sydney, Cape Breton’s Marconi Campus of NSCC is also closed. Cape Breton Regional Police are investigating a potential bomb threat at the Nova Scotia Community College.
Cape Breton University is also being evacuated due to the investigation at Marconi Campus. “Police are on the scene investigating an undisclosed threat,” the university tweeted.