Suspicious item at VMI, 3 buildings evacuated - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Suspicious item at VMI, 3 buildings evacuated

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LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) -- Authorities have carried out a controlled detonation of a suspicious item that prompted the evacuation of several buildings at Virginia Military Institute.

The school says in a news release that the detonation occurred without a larger explosion.

The item was found Wednesday morning near the entrance to Preston Library.

The library and portions of Nichols Engineering Building and Mallory Hall were evacuated. VMI spokesman Stewart MacInnis says cadets were alerted by e-mail, text messages and announcements over a public address system in the barracks, following a protocol that was refined after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.

The school directed people in buildings along the Parade Ground to stay away from windows and told all personnel to remain indoors.

Sidewalks and roadways around the Parade Ground are closed to foot traffic.

The following message was sent to the VMI community at 8:18 a.m. today:

A suspicious item has been located near the entrance to Preston Library.  Preston Library is closed.

Effective immediately Letcher Avenue between Maury-Brooke and JM Hall is closed.  Please avoid the area.

Entrance to buildings is permitted from the rear. 

Police are on the scene.

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