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ARA Timaru polytechnic evacuated, closed for the day after threat

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 21 Jun 2023, 1:04pm
Police cars can be seen in the vicinity of the Ara Institute of Canterbury, Timaru campus. Photo / ODT
Police cars can be seen in the vicinity of the Ara Institute of Canterbury, Timaru campus. Photo / ODT

ARA Timaru polytechnic evacuated, closed for the day after threat

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 21 Jun 2023, 1:04pm

About 250 staff and students at a Timaru polytechnic were evacuated from their building this morning after a threat was made relating to the premises.

The ARA Institute’s Timaru campus in Arthur St was evacuated around 10am as a precaution, police said.

Police cordons were been put in place around a city block and people have been asked to take alternative routes around the city.

About 50-100 people could be seen standing outside the campus, according to a staff member at a nearby business as the incident began to unfold.

A couple of police cars were seen parked outside the building but no other businesses are understood to have been evacuated.

ARA’s campus manager Leonie Rasmussen said the campus would be closing for rest of the day as it would likely take a longer period of time for police to complete their processes.

“Students gathered safely with ongoing support staff and student advisors,” she said in a statement.

“Around 45 students who travel to the Ara campus by bus are being cared for and return buses have been ordered early today. Those with belongings left in classrooms have been assured these will be kept safe by Ara staff once they can access the buildings.”

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has confirmed State Highway 1 in Theodosia St through Timaru has been closed around the polytechnic between North and Arthurs St, is currently closed.

“People are asked to avoid travel through central Timaru if possible as detour routes are being set up around the city block Arthur St, Grey Road, North St and State Highway 1 or Theodosia St,” a statement said.

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