Local News

Exam-week prank prompts evacuation of Campbell dorm

Posted May 2, 2008 10:02 a.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2008 5:06 p.m. EDT

— A Campbell University student was charged following what school officials said appeared to be an exam-week prank that forced students out of their dorm for nearly three hours early Friday.

Emergency crews evacuated Kitchin Hall, a dorm that houses 96 men, at about 4:30 a.m. following a report of a chemical odor inside, Harnett County sheriff's deputies said.

No one was injured, but sheriff's investigators said several people complained of trouble breathing. None of them required medical attention.

Investigators said an explosive device made of a plastic bottle and chemicals that react when combined caused the fumes. One was placed in the dorm's first-floor hallway and three others outside, authorities said.

"I opened up the door, and it was all foggy and cloudy and smelled awful – I mean, just terrible," dorm resident George Sharrer said.

Thomas Nathan Minor, 19, of Fuquay-Varina, was charged with possession of weapons on school ground. Authorities said they were investigating and further charges were possible.

Dr. John Roberson, Campbell's vice president of marketing, said the university's code of conduct prohibits students from possessing and using explosives on campus.

"(School officials), they will, I'm sure, hear this, and our code would include expulsion, if that's what they choose to impose," Roberson said.