CASTINE, Maine — A suspicious package found Tuesday evening in a residential hall at Maine Maritime Academy was not an explosive device, according to a school spokeswoman.
But the package, which resulted in Curtis Hall being evacuated for six hours, resembled a bomb closely enough that police have opened up an investigation, Jennifer DeJoy said Wednesday.
The dormitory, which can house about 600 students, was evacuated at about 5 p.m., after the package was found in a student’s room during a routine check of a room being vacated for summer.
Police officers with Maine State Police and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, DeJoy said. The state police bomb squad removed the package, and a K-9 unit was sent to sweep the area as an extra precaution.
By 11:15 p.m., police determined it would be safe for students to return to the building. DeJoy said students were temporarily put up in the campus student center and the gym.
She referred other questions about the incident to police.
She said the timing of the bomb scare disrupted students who have been preparing for final exams this week. She added that students who feel they did not have adequate time Tuesday to study for exams scheduled for Wednesday will be allowed to take them later in the week.
“It was really inconvenient for them to be out of the residence hall for six hours yesterday,” DeJoy said.
Richard Bishop, chief deputy for Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, declined on Wednesday to release further details about the case. He said it remains under investigation, and other details about the incident may be released later this week.
Attempts Wednesday to contact Maine State Police officials about the bomb scare were unsuccessful.
BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.