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By Tanya Huang


November 23, 2010 (San Diego) — San Diego State students, faculty and staff were blocked from areas around the trolley station for almost three hours while the San Diego State University (SDSU) Police Department investigated an undisclosed, suspicious package which was later deemed nonthreatening.


At approximately 1:40 p.m. an emergency alert was made on campus loudspeakers advising people to avoid the Transit Center, Aztec Center and the Adams Humanities building. Those areas had been evacuated prior to the announcement.


Security personnel and caution tape surrounding the entire area blocked people from passing through. When students approached the security, they were told that the area would be closed until further notice because of a potential bomb threat.


SDSU police say the suspicious package was found by one of the trolley security members.


“There was a piece of luggage located on the mezzanine level of the trolley station at SDSU,” San Diego State Police Capt. Lamine Secka said. “After the San Diego Fire Department Metro Arson Strike Team evaluated it, it was determined to be non-explosive and safe to transport, although there was a chemical detected. Further initial investigation revealed it to be a substance similar to modeling clay and epoxy…It was rendered safe and the trolley station has since been reopened.”


During the evacuation and investigation many students on campus had to find alternative routes to get to their cars, residence halls or homes.


“(Shortly after 1 p.m.) we were told that our store was on lockdown. Then (SDSU police) came in, evacuated our store, we had to stop serving everybody and get everybody out,” Jennifer Stangl, an employee of Starbucks in Aztec Center, told East County Magazine.


Still in uniforms, Stangl and several other employees of Starbucks and the Aztec Center food court were gathered at East Commons food court for over an hour, waiting for information and wondering whether they would be returning to work or not.


“Some people were off work and their stuff is still in the store so they can’t leave,” Stangl said. “(One employee) doesn’t have her keys. I don’t have a car and I was going to take the trolley home, so now I have to find a ride home.”


Secka says it was just about 4 p.m. when the caution tapes were removed. At approximately 4:23 p.m. another announcement was made on campus loudspeakers declaring that the emergency was over.


The SDSU Police Department has not yet determined who the package belongs to and is still investigating. According to Secka, there were no injuries.


Tanya Huang is a journalism major at San Diego State University and an intern for East County Magazine.

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