RCMP investigators have determined a bomb threat that forced all Prince Edward Island schools to be evacuated Wednesday was not credible.
“Earlier today, police agencies and school administration evacuated all Prince Edward Island schools due to a bomb threat delivered to the RCMP,” the RCMP said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “A comprehensive threat assessment was undertaken and police are confident that the treat was not credible.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the RCMP said “emergency evacuation plans have been activated” at schools across the province, forcing some 19,000 students from classrooms.
“Law enforcement attended every school on the Island and conducted physical checks of the facilities and an extensive investigation was undertaken,” the Mounties said. “The physical checks and investigation confirmed that the schools are now safe for reopening.”
Police said no one was injured in the course of the evacuation.
The evacuation order came shortly after two Nova Scotia Community College campuses were evacuated after an undisclosed threat was made on the schools in Halifax and in Cape Breton.
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The threat also prompted the evacuation of the University of Prince Edward Island, forcing the school to close for the day.
During a press conference, RCMP in Charlottetown said a fax sent to the force’s Ottawa bureau said there were bombs in multiple schools.
“This fax indicated that a bomb had been placed in a number of schools in Prince Edward Island. It didn’t specify which schools, it did say a bomb would be detonated,” RCMP spokesman Sgt. Kevin Baillie said.
Baillie said police officers attended all of the schools on Prince Edward Island and there was no threat found and no injuries were reported.
“At this point, we don’t know who is responsible for these threats, there’s certainly an active investigation,” Baillie said.
Baillie said officers were aware of the threats made in Nova Scotia and were working to determine if the threats were related.
“We are also aware there’s been similar threats received at a schools and campuses in Nova Scotia and other jurisdictions, and one of the things we’re following up at this time is whether or not those threats are related to this one,” Baillie said.
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Community College principal Kit Jillings confirmed the threat received at the Halifax campus was via fax.
So far, no threat has been found.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a brief update on the threats received in both Prince Edward Island and in Nova Scotia Wednesday afternoon.
“The minister of public safety just informed me that all of the schools’ children and personnel are safe and the situation is under control,” the prime minister said. “As a parent, I know how worrisome this type of situation can be and I know the affected parents must be having a very difficult day.”
Trudeau said government and law enforcement officials continue to monitor the situation closely.
“I can assure you that the RCMP and all local authorities are deploying all necessary resources to this ongoing operation,” he said.
*With files from Andrew Russell