Rash Of Bomb Threats Forces Thousands To Flee Calls Turn Out To Be Hoaxes; Security Tightened After Blast
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City blast Wednesday, bomb threats forced the evacuation of thousands of employees in nearly a dozen other federal buildings from Wilmington, Del., to Kansas City, Mo., to Santa Ana, Calif., officials said.
All the threats proved to be hoaxes. Still, workers returned to their desks or left work early Wednesday, shaken both by the tragedy in Oklahoma and the personal link they felt to it, having been confronted with the real fear that they, too, might be targets.
Attorney General Janet Reno attributed the rash of threats to “terribly misguided individuals” and said that “nothing has materialized” from them. Both she and President Clinton said measures would be taken to secure other federal buildings and employees.
In Washington, security was tightened at the White House and on Capitol Hill.
In Boston, some Internal Revenue Service employees noticed a door open that should have been locked. Considering the blast in Oklahoma, police decided about noon to evacuate the 2,000 employees in the 24-story building despite a steady rain.
Many employees opted to go home instead of returning to their offices.
In Denver, even though no threats had been received, worried parents and administrators decided to close a child care center in the federal customs house.
Other federal buildings received phoned-in bomb threats that forced temporary evacuations in New York City; Boise; Rochester, N.Y.; Fort Worth, Texas; Portland; and Miami, according to officials.