Buildings Declared Safe after Threat Clears Out Courthouse in Luzerne County

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- The Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre was evacuated Monday morning after reports of a bomb threat, according to crews at the scene.

Police responded to the courthouse to look into a bomb threat shutting down the courthouse, the courthouse annex, and Brominski buildings for the day.

"It closed everything down. We have people coming to record deeds, get firearms permits, or for any sort of court hearings and they were concerned. They didn't know which way to go," Luzerne County Manager David Pedri said.

Pedri says a call came into the Lackawanna County 911 Center Monday morning saying there was a bomb inside the Luzerne County Courthouse.

It took investigators five hours to clear the building. In the meantime, even nearby King's College students were notified.

"It was kind of surprising. I woke up to a text from the King's emergency service," said student Aaron Griffith.

Shortly before noon, the perimeter expanded and police shut down nearby River Street as state police K-9 units looked through the courthouse and the two other buildings.

"I'm really impressed with the response. They were able to evacuate the building without causing too much of a scene," Griffith said.

Four bomb dogs swept the buildings to make sure they were safe. A state police helicopter even flew in one of the dogs.

"Most importantly, the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department and our Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department, they all came through. They all stepped up and we were able to clear this building. We have a safe place to work and a safe place for our citizens to utilize," Pedri said.

Authorities conducted emergency county business at Penn Place.

The courthouse will reopen Tuesday.

The Luzerne County district attorney's office is investigating.

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