Technical issue behind NBCC false alarm, college says

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NBCC Saint John was on lockdown for just under an hour on Tuesday because of a technical issue with the system. (Google Street View - image credit)
NBCC Saint John was on lockdown for just under an hour on Tuesday because of a technical issue with the system. (Google Street View - image credit)

The lockdown messages broadcast by email, text, phone and on public social media was caused by a technical glitch in the New Brunswick Community College system.

The college said Thursday it found "no malcious intent" behind the emergency alert issued for NBCC's Saint John campus on Grandview Avenue. The messages, except the public social media post, only went to the people signed up to receive emergency alerts from the college's public address system.

"We have determined that this incident was a false alarm resulting from a technical error in the public address system," the college said in a news release.

"The system programming is being updated to eliminate the risk of this error recurring."

'No actual threat'

The emergency message was broadcast at 10:20 a.m. on Tuesday, including a public tweet from the college's official account. Shortly after, the Saint John Police Force said it was responding to an "unknown" event. Officers found no threat and gave the all-clear at 11:14 a.m., the news release said.

Police Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca confirmed that "no actual threat occurred."

The college said it's grateful for people's co-operation and the police's support, and apologized for the false alarm.

"We recognize that this was a stressful experience and apologize for this experience," it said.