At least 12 schools in Queensland are evacuated over hoax bomb threats after more than 30 were forced into lockdown in NSW over rogue emails
- A dozen Brisbane area high schools were evacuated on Thursday afternoon
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said emails were sourced to eastern Europe
- Thousands of students have been evacuated over last three days due to threats
At least a dozen Brisbane area schools were dramatically evacuated on Thursday afternoon in the latest series of bomb threats.
The schools reportedly threatened were Albany Creek High School, North Lakes High School, Bray Park High School, Aspley High School, Bribie Island High School, Clontarf Beach, Caboolture State High School and Pine Rivers High School.
Ferny Grove High School, Everton Park High School and Sandgate High School have also received threats.
Brisbane’s southside schools Bundamba State Secondary College and Balmoral, Rochedale and Cavendish Road State High Schools all suffered the same fate.
All the threats were sent to each school individually via email.
A Queensland Police spokesman they were ‘aware of the reports’ against the schools and will ‘continue investigating the matter.’
Albany Creek State High School (pictured) was one of the many Brisbane schools evacuated on Thursday after a bomb threat
Northlakes High (pictured above) was also evacuated on Thursday following a bomb threat via email
In a statement provided to parents from Bray Park State High school, they were told police had thoroughly checked the school and were given the all clear.
‘Parents are advised that we have undertaken a precautionary evacuation of the school. This is occurring in several schools at present due to an email threat going around.
‘All students are safe and police are doing a check now to ensure the school is safe for students to return to classes soon,’ Principal Peter Turner told the Courier Mail.
The development comes as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the ‘threatening emails’ that led to evacuations at multiple schools across the state this week originated in eastern Europe.
Thousands of Year 12 students have been evacuated during their HSC exams following the threats.
Ms Berejiklian was briefed by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and told earlier bomb hoaxes emailed to NSW schools on Tuesday and Wednesday had been sourced abroad.
‘He’s allowed me to confirm that the initial email threats actually emanated from eastern Europe,’ she said.
But an evacuation at North Sydney Boys High School on Thursday morning is being treated as a local copycat incident.
The premier confirmed a person rang the selective school on Thursday morning saying there was a bomb, forcing the school to evacuate before HSC students were due to sit their modern history exam.
Neighbours who live near the school on Sydney’s lower north shore reported hearing police helicopters circling the area at about 10.30am.
It comes after Wednesday morning’s HSC biology exam was interrupted after numerous New South Wales schools received a threatening email.
It comes after Wednesday morning’s biology exam was interrupted after numerous New South Wales schools received a threatening email. Pictured: Students on an oval at an evacuated Castle Hill school on Tuesday
North Sydney Boys High School is the latest to evacuate pupils after receiving a threat from an anonymous source just after 9am on Thursday
They also follow hoax emails containing bomb threats sent to about 20 high schools on Tuesday, which led to thousands of Sydney HSC students having to abandon exams as schools were evacuated.
NSW Police are working with Australian Federal Police and federal authorities on the matter.
‘I have confidence that the police and the education department will resolve what is in the best interest of every student,’ Ms Berejilkian said.
‘At the end of the day what matters most is safety and well-being of the students.’
NSW education department secretary Mark Scott said those people making the threats may be deliberately creating ‘frustration and annoyance’.
‘We want students to be able to sit their exams…they’ve got a lot on their minds, it’s a stressful time and it’s been a stressful year – this is the last thing they need,’ he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.
Neighbours who live near the school reported hearing police helicopters circling the area at about 10.30am
‘So this is particularly malicious for these students.’
Mr Scott said despite the threats, more than 60 per cent of all HSC exams had already been completed and the whole process would be completed within a fortnight.
‘We want to minimise disruption, prioritise safety and assure people we’re working very closely with police to help swift identification of the people responsible,’ he said.
NSW Police Minister David Elliott described the threats as ‘demented’, The Australian reported.
‘It certainly takes a small and demented mind to interrupt HSC students after a traumatic year during a pandemic when the nation is at a heightened state of alert in terrorism,’ he said.
‘I’m horrified an individual or individuals would find themselves so bored that they would want to disrupt this very important part in these children’s lives.’
Any HSC student whose exam was disrupted by an evacuation would get special consideration when it was marked
Earlier, Ms Berejiklian said Tuesday’s threats were being investigated by the Cyber Crimes Squad.
‘The students do not need to re-sit the exams, so we are working out the best way to make sure they’re assessed,’ she told Sydney radio 2GB.
‘It was a very scary thing, but I know police are on to it and I’m confident police will get to the bottom of it.’
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the stunt was ‘a disgrace, not a funny prank’ and warned severe penalties would be applied when the culprits were caught.
The main exams affected were legal studies and visual arts in the morning, but most afternoon exams went ahead as planned.
Ms Mitchell said any HSC student whose exam was disrupted by an evacuation would get special consideration when it was marked.