Today’s event started at around 7:30 a.m. when a private contractor doing construction work in New House noticed suspicious materials in a common area on the third floor of the building. The building was evacuated, and the Cambridge Police Bomb Unit determined that the materials were suspicious and should be disrupted by a water cannon.
The Bomb Unit disrupted the materials three times: at around 9:50 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. During the time of the investigation and the response by the Bomb Unit, much of the area around New House was cordoned off; Next House, a building adjacent to New House, was also evacuated.
After the third disruption, responders evaluated the materials. They determined that an object that had the appearance and characteristics of a pipe bomb was in fact a collection of harmless materials. Shortly after, they declared the area safe.
During the investigation, MIT’s Emergency Operations Center provided updates to the community on the status of the situation via text message, email and the MIT homepage.
“We are very grateful to our colleagues at the federal, state and local agencies who responded to this situation,” said MIT Chief of Police John DiFava. “Their careful investigation and response helped ensure the safety of our campus. We are also grateful to members of the MIT community, who honored our request that they stay clear of the area as responding agencies worked.”