College prank brings out bomb squad at MIT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Cambridge police were not laughing about a student prank on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus after a bomb squad was called to dispose of a suspicious object spotted outside a dormitory early Friday morning.

The object turned out to be a harmless block of concrete disguised as a bomb and was put in front of the dormitory as a publicity stunt for a dance party held by a student group called the Burton Third Bombers.

“It looked like a cartoon bomb, like what you would see in Wylie Coyote, but clearly Cambridge Fire felt that they had to take due diligence and call in all of the Cambridge bomb squad to come check it out,” M.I.T. student Greg Steinbrecher said.

Students said they told M.I.T. police the object was just a prank at 3 a.m., but two hours later police called the Cambridge Fire Department and then the Cambridge Bomb Squad to the scene.

The Burton Third Bombers issued an apology for the prank on Friday:

“We understand our actions have resulted in significant havoc for… MIT police, and we regret wholly our failure to anticipate such an outcome… We did not intend to convey any threat or danger to the community.”

The cost of the response has not yet been tallied, but residents of the dormitory will be billed for the cost of the response. Some students in the dormitory who were not involved in the prank feel it is not fair to make them pay.

“It’s really kind of a gray area as to who is responsible for this, what was frankly an over reaction to a piece of cement sitting in the middle of a field,” Steinbrecher said.

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