- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were told to stay in their on-campus apartments and commuters were sent home Wednesday morning after police found a suspicious device in a park next to the campus.

Lafayette police spokesman Kyle Soriez said police received a phoned-in threat shortly after 5:35 a.m. that a bomb had been placed at the 33-acre Girard Park, a public recreational facility next to the sprawling, 1,500-acre university campus.

Soriez said police and firefighters sent to the scene located what they believed was a suspicious device in a trash can. He said authorities had not yet attempted to remove the device. Soriez did not have a description of the device. State police said they were sending a hazardous materials team to the park.

The area around the park, including the university, was blocked off as a precaution.

In a tweet posted at about 7 a.m., the university told staff and students to stay away or remain in on-campus apartments. The university is one of Louisiana’s largest with an enrollment of almost 18,000 students.

Soriez said campus police ordered the lockdown after being notified of the investigation at the park.

University spokesman Chris Welty said the school also activated its emergency notification system to reach staff and students on personal communication devices. He said campus officials were meeting and it was unclear whether the campus would reopen Wednesday.

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