US air base in South Korea reopens after shooter scare

False alarm found to have sparked crisis measures at Osan Air Base, roughly 70 kilometers south of Seoul

US air base in South Korea reopens after shooter scare

World Bulletin/News Desk

Public fear over school shootings in the United States appeared to spread to one of the country's air bases in South Korea on Monday as student facilities were locked down over "reports of an active shooter."

According to an initial statement on Osan Air Base's website, Osan High School, Middle School and Elementary School were all affected from around 10.00 (3.00 Turkish time) at the base, roughly 70 kilometers (over 43 miles) south of capital Seoul.

Morgan Nugent, principal at the high school, was quoted by base officials on Facebook during the lockdown in an effort to reassure parents their children were safe.

Nugent explained that the scare was prompted by a phone call to a teacher "that sounded automated saying that there was an active shooter drill taking place."

With no such drill scheduled, orders were given to take cover and all but emergency travel was restricted until the premises had been searched.

The lockdown was eventually lifted at approximately 12.30 local time.

Relief broke out as no injuries were reported and relatives also took to social media to praise the response of officials on the base, which makes up one of several U.S. military hubs housing a total of nearly 30,000 personnel in South Korea.

It was not immediately clear whether the seemingly automated phone call in question had been a mistake or a hoax -- but Colonel Brook Leonard, 51st Fighter Wing commander, insisted in a further official statement that "any report of an active shooter incident is taken incredibly seriously."

Leonard also praised the school and responders' "quick and decisive actions" for ensuring the safety of families and personnel.

Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2014, 11:40
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