Hoax Bomb Threat Forces Dallas Convention Center Evacuation: Police

Dallas police say a bomb threat Friday afternoon that led to the evacuation of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for several hours appears to be a hoax.

Police gave the all clear late Friday after its bomb squad completed a search of the facility with the help of specially trained K-9s.

The city says an unknown person called the convention center at about 4 p.m. and said he had placed two backpacks of explosives inside the center. Building security then initiated the evacuation and contacted police.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas on Friday.

Police said several backpacks found in the convention center during a preliminary search raised concern, so the bomb squad conducted a more thorough sweep.

After 8 p.m. the bomb squad completed its search, finding no explosive devices.

Police are investigating the phone call as a hoax bomb threat.

The evacuation disrupted the first day of a major video game tournament, the 2018 Call of Duty World League. The tournament is more than fun and games — there is hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, and people traveled from around the globe to participate.

The players spent several hours outside in the cold, not knowing when they would be allowed back inside.

"I'm not really used to this in France," said French gamer Maxime Ebran. "I rather be safe than in danger, just for a video game competition."

To make matters worse, players can't just pick up where they left off.

"You can't press pause in the competitive games," Ebran said.

Tournament organizers say the competition will start back up Saturday morning. Doors at the convention center will open at 8 a.m. Saturday, and the tournament resumes at 10 a.m.

In addition to the video game tournament, the convention center was packed Friday afternoon with runners at the BMW Dallas Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.

The Dallas Marathon is set for this weekend, and participants were at the convention center to register and pick up their packets.

Race organizers said participants in Saturday's Coors Light 5K/10K may now pick up their bibs or complete their on-site registration pre-race beginning at 6 a.m. on the west side of Dallas City Hall off Akard Street.

The health and fitness expo will open at 9 a.m. Saturday, and T-shirts will be available there for participants following their events.

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