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Bomb threat just a hoax

Sheriff reports similar hoaxes occurring around country


A troubling trend that is sweeping the nation came to Purcell Monday when a phone call taken by the McClain County Court Clerk’s office reported there was a bomb in the building.

The call came in at 12:53 p.m. and the entire courthouse was evacuated with the exception of 64 county inmates.

Sheriff Landy Offolter said he contacted DOC to acquire buses from LARC to transport the prisoners but DOC had no drivers available.

Purcell Police were quick to respond after the call came out. They along with members of the Sheriff’s Department cordoned off the alley and street around the courthouse.

At the time of the call, a vehicular manslaughter trial was underway. Fortunately for the roughly 53 county employees, plus jurors, attorneys and bystanders they had shade and the high temperature for the day was in the low 80s.

McClain Bank provided bottled water to the employees while they were displaced from the building for the just over two hour period of time.

“We appreciate that,” Offolter said of the bank’s gesture.

Homeland Security’s bomb squad arrived promptly coming down from Oklahoma City as did the OHP with their bomb sniffing dog.

No bomb was found.

Offolter said ironically someone at about the same time left a duffle bag outside the Purcell Senior Citizen Center. Bomb squads checked it out and there was no threat there.

Offolter reports the county has been able to acquire the phone number the call came in on and were in the process of acquiring a subpoena and investigating the number.

“It could take a week or longer depending on the phone company,” Offolter said. “Plus, with this happening all over the country there really is no telling where the call originated from.”

He said a bank in Blanchard had a bomb threat just last week.

Also answering the bomb threat call were Wadley’s EMS and the Purcell Fire Department who set up staging areas nearby the courthouse area in case of an actual explosion.

The all-clear went out just around 3 p.m. Courthouse workers went back to work and law enforcement dispersed.


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