Authorities in both Laurens and Newberry counties are investigating several bogus bomb threats that were called in Thursday morning.
Greenville Health System said the that law enforcement had given the all-clear at Laurens County Memorial Hospital just before noon Thursday. Newberry police said a threat made at Self Medical Center was also cleared.
Chief Deputy Jarvis Reeder said the threat to the Laurens hospital on US 76 in Clinton was made around 9 a.m.
He said deputies, Clinton police, and Laurens police responded and began evacuating the hospital.
Deputies said 46 patients were registered at the hospital and were evacuated along with staff.
Sandy Dees, a spokesperson for Greenville Health System, said no threats were found during sweeps of the building.
"Out of extreme caution, Laurens County Memorial Hospital evacuated its patients and staff this morning after receiving bomb threat at approximately 9 a.m.," Dees said in a statement. "The building has already undergone a preliminary sweep, and no devices were found. An additional sweep by a bomb squad will take place shortly. The Laurens County Sheriff's Office is investigating the bomb threat."
Just before noon, Dees told our crews at the scene that the evacuation had been lifted.
Deputies said SLED sent in bomb dogs to investigate before the all-clear was given.
Before the threat was made against the hospital, Reeder said another threat was made against Palmetto Bone an Joint, an orthopedic surgery practice in Clinton.
Reeder said the Palmetto office had been cleared as of 11:15 a.m.
Police in Newberry said another Palmetto Bone and Joint office in Newberry had also been threatened and cleared.
Police said they also responded to a bomb threat in the atrium of Self Medical Center on Kinard Street just after 9 a.m. The building was evacuated and SLED bomb dogs conducted a thorough search of the building.
The Newberry County Sheriff's Office and Newberry Fire Department also responded.
No threats were found at that hospital either, police said.
Laurens Co. deputies said they received a Crime Stoppers tip that there was a bomb at the Laurens County Courthouse. The sheriff's office said the building was evacuated and nothing suspicious was found.
Deputies said 29-year-old Eric Rico Hill was arrested in connection with the treats made to the Palmetto Bone and Joint Clinic and GHS Laurens Memorial Hospital.
Hill went before a judge Friday morning and was denied bond on two counts of making a bomb threat, second or subsequent offense.
The judge set his next court date for May.
Our crew at the courthouse spoke to Hill's grandmother and cousin after the hearing. The grandmother said she believes Hill in innocent. She said he would not have turned himself in if he was behind the threats.
The sheriff's office said it is actively investigating who made the threat against the courthouse.
Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.