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Bomb Threat Prompts Illinois House, Senate Evacuation

Illinois Capitol Rotunda
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
The third floor of the Illinois Statehouse was briefly evacuated Wednesday following a phoned-in bomb threat.

A bomb threat in the Illinois State Capitol Building caused the House and Senate chambers to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon.

The call came in to a desk manned by tour guides in the Capitol. According to a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, which oversees the Capitol Complex, a caller said there was a bomb on the upper floors of the building.

Two stories up, in the House chamber, legislators were interrupted midway through debate on a bill.

“All members (are) asked to evacuate the third and fourth floor of the building,” state Rep. Art Turner Jr. told his colleagues. “Immediately. Right now.”

Lawmakers and their staff members left. A bomb sniffing dog came in. And less than an hour later came the all-clear.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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