SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Veterans Affairs Medical Center evacuated its emergency department and surrounding buildings on Thursday after reports of a bomb threat, according to hospital officials.
Officials from the VA said in a press release that parts of the Salt Lake City facility were emptied shortly after 1:30 p.m. after a bomb threat was called into the emergency department. A few hours after the evacuation, authorities issued the “all clear.”
“The medical center and surrounding areas were evacuated to safe locations while VA Police and partnered agencies investigated the scene,” stated the release.
Police swept the entire hospital with K-9 units from the University of Utah and the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake.
Patients and staff were relocated to other areas of the facility where they could continue receiving care, according to Public Affairs Officer Jeremy Laird.
Laird said veteran patients have access to PTSD experts and full mental health professionals.
“The top priority for us is our veteran patients, their families, and our staff,” Laird said. “We wanted to get everybody out of that area and do the proper sweep so we could ensure their safety.”