Patients and staff began re-entering Laurens County Memorial Hospital just before noon Thursday following a bomb threat that caused the hospital to be evacuated.
The threat came into the hospital around 9 a.m. Security conducted an initial sweep of the building, and 46 patients along with hospital staff were evacuated.
“Out of extreme caution, Laurens County Memorial Hospital evacuated its patients and staff this morning after receiving bomb threat at approximately 9 a.m.,” read a statement from the Greenville Hospital System issued Thursday morning through the office of GHS Senior Media Relations Coordinator Sandy Dees. “The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the bomb threat.”
Bomb-sniffing dogs from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division were used in an attempt to locate any explosive devices prior to the all-clear signal.
SLED, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Clinton Public Safety responded to the threat. A second bomb threat was called into Palmetto Bone and Joint in Clinton and left on a recorded message. That call reportedly referenced the orthopedic surgeons’ practice at 2605 Kinard Street in Newberry.
According to The Newberry Observer, SLED and the Newberry Police Department investigated and did not find any explosive devices.
Laurens Hospital and emergency personnel erected tents on the hospital campus for the evacuated patients, though several sat in the late-morning sun with hospital staff.
Spokesperson Jamie Adair said none of the patients were in critical care at the time of the evacuation.
Adair also said the hospital enacted a plan and protocols that had been rehearsed.
Laurens County Director of Emergency Managment Director Joey Avery praised the multi-agency effort that came together quickly Thursday morning.
“It was a great team effort,” he said.