RUG building still closed after evacuation

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RUG building still closed after evacuation

Last Thursday, someone delivered a letter containing white powder to a RUG building at the Oude Boteringestraat 42, with a note that said that a bomb would explode there.
By Thereza Langeler / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The substance in the letter turned out to be harmless, but the RUG has decided to lock the doors to numbers 42 and 44.

Oude Boteringestraat 42 houses the Groningen Confucius Institute, which is a collaboration between the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the RUG, the municipality of Groningen, and the Communication University of China in Beijing. On Thursday morning, institute employees found a suspicious package in the building.

The fire brigade, police, and ambulance services arrived in front of the evacuated building en masse. Three employees of the Confucius Institute had to stay inside because they had come into contact with the substance in the envelope. A large section of the Oude Boteringestraat was cordoned off.

Around 12.30 p.m., the Explosieven Opruimingsdienst Defensie (the Dutch bomb disposal unit) determined that the powder in the letter was harmless. They have not yet determined what it was.  The police did not find a bomb in the building.

Locked

The doors to OB42 and OB44 (which houses the RUG board of directors and the Office of the University) remain locked. But visitors can enter the buildings if they ring the doorbell, says RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker. ‘We just want to know who’s coming and going. That’s why we stationed a concierge next to the entrance.’ The doors will probably remain locked for several more days. ‘It depends on the police investigation.’

The Confucius Institute was recently the focus of television programme Medialogica. The episodes had people up in arms; the documentary suggested that the Chinese government is using the institute to try to influence our image of and policy towards China.

 

Nederlands

15 January 2019 | 15-1-2019, 17:08