Bomb threats made against schools in Portsmouth, Sunapee, Farmington

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

The FBI is investigating a series of bomb threats aimed at dozens of schools, and police are investigating whether threats made in New Hampshire are related.

Click to watch News 9’s coverage.

More than 20 schools in Massachusetts received automated calls Tuesday warning that there were bombs in the building. Portsmouth High School and Sunapee Middle High School also received calls about noon.

Another bomb threat was reported at Farmington High School, but that threat was found scrawled on a bathroom wall.

Students at Portsmouth High were on lockdown for about an hour after the threat came in.

“We received a call that sounded like a robo-call that said there were pipe bombs in the building,” Portsmouth High Principal Mary Lyons said.

Sunapee Middle High School got a similar automated call at about the same time.

“It sounds like it’s an automated call done through a computerized system, not necessarily a human voice, but a voiceover or some kind of system to change the voice a little bit as an automated call,” acting Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief David Warchol said.

Administration and police officials said they followed protocols and took every threat seriously.

“As the call came through, we were able to determine that the credibility of the call sank a little bit, but we had to do our due diligence to make sure that everything was on the up and up, which is why we had the state police bomb dog come through here,” Warchol said.

“It’s upsetting, and we’re close to finals, so we’re busy,” Lyons said. “It’s really an annoyance.”

Farmington High School was evacuated for about two hours, after a message threatening to blow up the school was found written on the wall of a boys’ bathroom.

“It was evacuated just as a precaution,” Farmington Police Chief Jay Drury said. “We decided it was a safe thing to do and evacuate the school while we could properly search it and contact state police, as well as the bomb squad, to have them give us some assistance.”

Students at Sunapee Middle High School weren’t in class Tuesday. About 50 faculty members were evacuated while the school was checked.

Warchol said police will likely connect with the FBI to see if the threats were linked to the Massachusetts cases.

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