Sunday, October 02, 2005

[Person and] Bomb explodes during OU game.

One dead in what authorities call suicide; incident under investigation

One person was killed in an explosion in a traffic circle about 100 yards from a packed football stadium at the University of Oklahoma on Saturday night in what authorities were calling a suicide.

"We are apparently dealing with an individual suicide, which is under full investigation," OU President David Boren said in a statement.

There were no other reports of injuries. There was no word on the identity or gender of the person who died.

The loud noise of the explosion could be heard clearly inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where 84,000 people were watching the Oklahoma Sooners play Kansas State.

"There was never any risk to the activity within the stadium," said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. "At the same time, our personnel was active in the security operation."

Officers cordoned off an area west of the stadium, known as the South Oval, and nobody was allowed out of the stadium immediately after the blast, which occurred shortly before 8 p.m. People were allowed out of the stadium about 8:30 p.m.

A police bomb squad detonated explosives found at the site of the blast. This detonation could also be heard in the stadium area. The area near the stadium was searched by bomb dogs.

"At no time was anyone in the stadium in danger," Boren said.

Kerry Pettingill, Oklahoma homeland security director, said the incident was under criminal investigation and the motive behind the explosion was not known.

As fans streamed out of the stadium after the game, they were routed around the crime scene. Some fans leaving the stadium were escorted by police to buses that were parked near where the explosion occurred.

The state Medical Examiner's Office was on the scene as was the Norman Police Department, firefighters, the FBI and officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said an FBI bomb technician was providing assistance to local police. Emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, surrounded the area.

OU police Sgt. Gary Robinson said the body had not been removed as of late Saturday night as a bomb team continued to check the area for possible explosives before detectives could move in for their investigation.

Jaclyn Hull, an OU freshman, said she was leaving the game shortly before the explosion.

"We saw a little bit of smoke, about as much as you would see coming up from a grill," she said.

Stan Hilton of Tulsa said he heard the explosion while he was watching the game from his seat near the field.

"I became afraid at halftime when they had us locked in the stadium," he said after he left the stadium.

Larry Lucas II, an OU senior, said at the time of the explosion he was in the university's architecture building near where the blast occurred.

"At first I thought it was a prank because that's where the Kansas State buses were parked," he said. Lucas said he saw Kansas State players leave the bus before the game.

Authorities could be seen searching Kansas State players and coaches amid tight security as they boarded buses to leave the area.

Person killed following explosion at OU

An apparent suicide bombing on the University of Oklahoma campus Saturday evening killed at least one person.

According to a statement from OU President David Boren, a second explosive device was found and detonated. Initial reports had that occurring about 9:15 p.m.

The blast happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. on the South Oval, across the street from the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where more than 80,000 people were watching the OU-Kansas State football game. One person who responded to the scene said she heard the blast from four miles away.

“We are apparently dealing with an individual suicide which is under full investigation,” Boren said in the statement. “At no time was anyone in the stadium in danger. Law enforcement officers and bomb experts on site were activated in the area immediately.”

Boren said he ordered a search of the garage area near the stadium along with lower levels outside the stadium.

The entire South Oval was taped off, and many law enforcement officers were there to make sure no one entered the area. The suicide happened in or near the George Lynn Cross botany/microbiology building the oval’s east side.

Damage to the microbiology building or any other structure couldn’t be seen from the distant perimeter.

Sgt. Gary Robinson of OUPD confirmed one death, but gave no further details on the person or whether anyone else was injured. He said detectives were unable to investigate the scene right away because other personnel needed time to thoroughly sweep the area for additional explosive devices.

“One fatality is all we know right now,” he said.

Student Keaton Fuchs of the cable television station TV4OU had a video camera at the stadium’s highest level. He turned toward the South Oval right after the explosion and saw a small amount of gray smoke rising from the botany/microbiology building.

Numerous public agencies were on the scene, including OU and Norman police, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, state medical examiner’s office, the FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Passouts normally are given to people who want to leave at halftime and come back, but they were not issued Saturday. Fans never were permitted to go on or near the South Oval, and after the game, which OU won 43-21, pedestrians weren’t allowed to walk north on Asp Avenue beyond the stadium’s southwest corner.

Six members of the Brothers Under Christ fraternity dressed in white T-shirts, each with a red spray-painted Superman “S” and white capes couldn’t walk a few dozen feet beyond the barriers to retrieve their bicycles at the stadium.

They decided to walk a mile back home and get their bikes today.

“We heard so many rumors about this in the stadium,” said Preston White, a BUC sophomore from Tulsa majoring in chemical engineering. “At first we thought it was thunder, then we heard propane and suicide bombing, just all sorts of rumors.

So it's a bombing and it's a suicide, but it's not a suicide bombing?

And it went off right next to 80,000 people, some of whom would be walking by, in packed crowds, right next this guy when the game let out.

Map here. #48 is the botany/microbiology building.

Move along people nothing to see here, move along, this has nothing to do with terrorism, move along. Shouldn't you be more concerned with what's going on with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?