Update 17:02 MST: RCMP say no device has been found after a bomb threat at a Yellowknife school.
St Patrick’s High School received the threat at around 11:30am on Friday morning, leading to the closure of both St Patrick’s and Weledeh Catholic School.
Students were escorted to Sir John Franklin School by police, where parents were asked to collect them.
A police search of the school and surrounding area lasted a number of hours, but RCMP confirmed shortly before 5pm that no device had been found.
“No explosive device was located and police are confident that the location is safe,” said RCMP in a statement.
“Under the Criminal Code of Canada everyone who, with intent to injure or alarm any person, conveys information that he knows to be false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
“The investigation is continuing.”
Hundreds of students were affected. St Patrick’s student Andrew Ram described the morning’s events to Moose FM.
“Around 11:30, the office called in to school and said, ‘There’s a bomb threat,'” said Ram, a grade eleven student, who had been taking a physics class.
“So we closed the doors, closed the shutters, turned off the lights, all sat down in the corner of the room. Most of us thought it was just a test.”
Ram said students had, at one point, been told the situation was not a bomb threat.
“About 15 minutes later they said, ‘It’s not a bomb threat. Everybody stay quiet, stay down, don’t make any noise.’ So, there was that.
“Then, around five minutes before the bell rang, they called in again and said, ‘When the bell goes for lunch, everybody – staff and students – leave the building and don’t come back in. There are RCMP in the building and around the building.’
“Outside the building there were a couple of guys with rifle-type guns. There were three or four around the building or in the building.”
Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins later posted a photo from the scene to Facebook, saying: “All students and staff appear to be safe.” He soon added: “The Weledeh and St Pat’s students are all safe and accounted for.”
Photograph courtesy of Robert Hawkins.