Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, September 13, 2001

Bomb scare causes partial evacuation of Stanford, Packard hospitals


Stanford Hospital and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital were partially evacuated Thursday after a threatening call, police said.

An unidentified man phoned the Stanford Hospital about 10:30 a.m. and implied that a bomb was set to explode in its emergency room -- or at the children's hospital -- in an hour, said Detective Lori Kratzer of the Palo Alto Police Department.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department searched the emergency room area and the first two floors of the children's hospital after most patients in those sections had been evacuated, Kratzer said.

No bomb was discovered, but hundreds of people -- including visitors, nurses, doctors and patients -- were affected by the threat, Kratzer said. Traffic on roads leading to the hospitals was diverted, and the incident kept police and other emergency officials tied up for about three hours.

The buildings were reopened about 2 p.m.

"It's unthinkable that someone could do this at this time," Kratzer said, referring to Tuesday's terror attacks in Manhattan and just outside of Washington, D.C. Kratzer acknowledged that the response to the hospital threat was unusually extensive, in light of those twin disasters.

"If we find out who made this call, we will seek criminal prosecution," she added.

This was the second terrorist threat to Stanford in three days. On Tuesday, an anonymous, male caller told said "the Hoover library would be gone in an hour," according to Sgt. Laura Wilson of the university's Public Safety Department.