Bomb squad ‘disrupts’ suspicious materials at MIT

By John Ellement
Globe Staff / June 7, 2011

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The Cambridge police bomb squad has twice used a water cannon today to “disrupt” some “suspicious materials’’ found in the common area inside the New House, an MIT dormitory on Memorial Drive, officials said.

The Cambridge bomb squad remains on the scene and have been joined by special agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearm and Explosives, officials said.

At least nine people were evacuated from the New House (Building W70 in MIT nomenclature) where the materials were found around 7:30 a.m. today. The adjacent building, called the Next House (Building W71) has also been evacuated.

“It was inside a common area of the dormitory,’’ said Daniel Riviello, Cambridge police spokesman. “There was suspicious materials that we don’t believe were just left there. That’s why we are taking every precaution to make sure we dispose of those materials properly.’’

Memorial Drive was closed twice today by State Police when the Cambridge bomb technicians used a water cannon to “disrupt’’ the materials.

The incident began around 7:30 a.m. inside the dorm at 471 Memorial Drive where contractors came across the materials on the third floor of the building, said Riviello.

After Cambridge firefighters examined the materials, the bomb squad was summoned, he said.

“The bomb unit took a look at it and thought there was sufficient reason to disrupt the device,’’ Riviello said. He did not identify what the materials were.

No injuries have been reported.

The incident is still under investigation by Cambridge police and MIT officials.