All clear at VA Medical Center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 8, 2013

Update: Local Rowan County police conducted a bomb sweep with a police canine and federal VA police conducted a room-to-room search. No threats were found.

The medical center began moving patients back into building 2 at 10 a.m. after the all clear was announced. All other appointments were scheduled to return to normal at 11 a.m.

An investigation is ongoing.

According to a press release from the Hefner VA Medical Center, at 3:30 a.m. today, the W.G. (Bill) Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center received a phone call of a bomb threat in Building 2 of the Medical Center campus.

Local Rowan County police conducted a bomb sweep with a police canine. Additionally, federal VA police are conducting a room-to-room search.

A Post reporter on the scene says Building 2 is the hospital building. It was evacuated and five intensive care patients were taken to Carolinas Medical Center for care because Novant Health Rowan Medical Center’s ICU unit is full. Five surgical patients and 29 medical patients were evacuated to another building on the campus, where medical staff continue to care for them.

VA officials told the Post that the call came from a pay phone somewhere in the county. Information heard on the emergency scanner indicates the center is on full diversion — meaning it is not accepting patients. People who have appointments at Building 2 are being directed to other buildings.

Surrounding buildings have not been searched, but will be if deemed necessary. The call indicated something would happen between 8 and 9 a.m.

A bomb threat was made at the medical center several months ago, but it was specific to a room and floor. Nothing was found.

Additional information will be released as the situation is resolved.