Briana Elisia, a first-year psychology major, had been in class since 9 in the morning. Suddenly class was interrupted by an evacuation order. The environment became a state of confusion and fear.
“Everyone was kind of confused, [and] thought it was a drill,” Elisia said.
Last Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the students of SUNY Orange were evacuated due to a suspicious package found on the premises. The package was found in the second-floor garage of the Maple building at the end of Broadway.
The Maple building houses the Social Security building, SUNY Orange, and the Department of Labor. According to the City of Newburgh Police Chief Doug Soloman, the package was found to be inert. After it was determined the device was inert, bomb detection canines assisted in searching for secondary devices.
The Rockland County Sheriff’s bomb disposal squad visited the scene to determine the device was inert in nature. The New York State Police, Homeland Security, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI also assisted in addressing the situation.
Students and other members of the public waited around anxious and confused, hoping to be able to return to their vehicles and receive an all clear notice. Finally, after hours of waiting, the scene was determined to be safe.
Soloman didn’t comment on the exact appearance of the item because of the freshness of the investigation. Soloman was satisfied with the way the situation was resolved.
“I’m glad that all’s well that ends well,” Soloman said. “The device was not actually an explosive device. We were able to clear the scene and get everyone back to normal business in a timely manner.”