A woman called Philadelphia Police Monday afternoon, warning them of a bomb inside the Liacouras Center, where a high school graduation was taking place, police said.
Police evacuated the building just as Olney High School’s graduation ceremony was ending, and attendees left calmly after an announcement was made over the loudspeaker according to an employee who was working at the Liacouras Center.
Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said because the ceremony was at its end, there was “no sense of people waiting to come back in,” making the search for explosives easier.
After three hours of searching the center with dogs from Temple, SEPTA, and various other police forces, no bombs or explosives were found inside or around the building. Police brought the dogs across the street to sniff out any potential danger but found none.
No SWAT vehicles or personnel were called to the scene.
Police had taped off the front sidewalk on Broad Street and only a couple police cars were stationed outside the main entrance. The rear entrance by the gym and Liacouras garage, which opens to 15th Street, was not taped off but had more police and security presence. Throughout the search, Temple officials and police were gathered inside the lobby.
Police shut down Broad Street from Cecil B. Moore Avenue to Norris Street with squad cars, police officers, Allied Barton security and orange cones. The subway entrance at Cecil B. Moore was also closed.
The street and subway entrance were re-opened just before 5 p.m., but the sidewalk in front of the Liacouras from Montgomery Avenue to the subway entrance remained closed to foot traffic until police issued the official “all clear” at 6:14 p.m.
Julie Christie and Dominic Barone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheTempleNews.