Metro

Fall River middle school evacuated after receiving false bomb threat

A Fall River middle school was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after receiving a false bomb threat, school officials said.

Four anonymous phone calls were made shortly after 12 p.m., “indicating a very specific bomb threat at Matthew J. Kuss Middle School,” Superintendent Matthew H. Malone said in a statement. Three of the calls were recieved by the school, the other by the Fall River Police Department.

The school first was ordered to shelter in place while local police and fire responded. Students and staff were then evacuated and escorted on foot to the Carlton Viveiros Elementary School less than a mile away, the statement said.

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Principal Maria Pontes alerted families all students were safe. Students were later released to family members or driven home on their assigned buses after the usual dismissal time, according to Malone.

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Fall River police and seven bomb-sniffing dogs searched the building for about three hours and found no bomb, officials said.

“The most important part of today, is that all of our employees and all of our students are safe,” said Malone.

Malone urged anyone with information about the threats to contact Fall River police.

Jackson Cote can be reached at jackson.cote@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jackson_k_cote.