Bomb Scare Halts OracleWorld, Seybold Shows
UPDATE: Police clear out three Moscone Center buildings and a surrounding block minutes before Oracle executives were to take the stage.
SAN FRANCISCO -- More than 14,000 people were evacuated at two adjoining Internet trade shows after police received a handful of bomb threats.
An estimated 11,000 attendees at the OracleWorld trade show at Moscone Center North and South and an additional 3,000 from the Seybold 2003 Show at the new Moscone West building were evacuated. No one was injured during the mass departure. The shows, which started Sunday are expected to pick right back up Thursday, Sept. 11th.
"We had four or five calls that named the show and the location specifically but did not name any persons as potential targets," San Francisco Police Sergeant Neville Gittens told internetnews.com.
Police say the calls came in around 1:30, which coincided with a press briefing outlining the Oracle's takeover bid for PeopleSoft.
Officials at OracleWorld asked the attendees to evacuate the building, over the intercom, just before 3 p.m. Pacific time, attendees said.
About 15 minutes later, law enforcement officials then requested that the entire block surrounding the Moscone convention center be cleared as a safety precaution.
Oracle officials said they ordered the evacuation as soon as they were aware of the problem.
After a search including bomb-sniffing dogs, police gave the "all-clear" about 4:30 local time.
Ken Jacobs, a vice president with Oracle, was about to give the day's keynote speech when the evacuation was called.
Oracle representatives said it will beef up security for Thursday's show including the keynote by Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.