Note bomb threat causes casino evacuation in Okla.
OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. — A bomb threat at the Indigo Sky Casino and Resort prompts casino managers and local law enforcement to evacuate the gambling facility and adjoining hotel.
Melanie Heskett, general manager of Indigo Sky Casino and Resort, said a note was found in one of the casino’s bathrooms.
“The note seemed to be quite threatening and specific, indicating that there was indeed a bomb located on the property somewhere, although it didn’t say where that location was,” Heskett said.
Heskett could not say who found the note, but after it was found around 6:30 p.m. Saturday (07/30), the evacuation process began.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Police Department, along with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad (OHP), Tulsa Police Department Explosive Dogs, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) all responded to Indigo Sky.
Heskett said bomb-sniffing dogs from the Tulsa Police Department and OHP Bomb Squad searched the entire facility for several hours, inside and out, but did not not find any explosive device.
As a precaution, Indigo Sky’s sister gaming facility “Outpost Casino” was also evacuated and searched for explosives.
No explosive device was found there either.
“The security threat plan involving a full evacuation went very well. It went as well as we could have hoped. We have a lot of people on our floors and a lot of stuff on Saturday night. The plan we put in place and practiced worked well. I always say, “If you see something, say something”, and our staff did it as soon as it happened. We alerted the guests and crew members. All were great. Obviously some were upset, but we expect that and hope they continue to trust us with their safety and entertainment needs,” Heskett said. .
“We will work with law enforcement to eventually identify the person who left this note in the restroom,” Heskett said.
After clearance was completed, Indigo Sky’s hotel was reopened around 1 a.m. Sunday.
However, the casino will remain closed until 8:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Heskett said people who left personal belongings on the gambling hall, as well as gambling chips, jackpot winnings and slot machine tickets can start redeeming those items, starting at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning ( 7/31).
For more information, you can contact Indigo Sky Casino and Resort at (888) 992-7591.
“The bomb threat investigation process will begin immediately and will be conducted primarily by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe Police Department,” Heskett said.
Saturday night’s evacuation of a bomb scare at Indigo Sky wasn’t the only evacuation from the facility that day.
A mandatory evacuation of the entire establishment was issued around 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning, due to a “possible threat” on the casino floor.
You can learn more about this evacuation later in this article, or by going HERE.
Witnesses describe the course of the evacuation on Saturday evening
“I arrived at 6 p.m. and decided to eat at the bar and grill,” said Hugh Smith, of Springdale, Ark.
At around 7 p.m., a person entered the restaurant saying everyone had to get out, he said.
“We left our food and everything,” Smith said. “Workers were yelling at people to run and there was no time to wait for anyone or cash in.”
After waiting, Smith said he heard from a friend that casino officials told everyone to stand back as far as possible and they locked down the parking lot.
“We arrived around 4 p.m.,” said Tanya Stone, of Anderson.
Stone said she was having dinner when security arrived.
“They announced ‘everyone, please get up and leave the building to the nearest exit,'” Stone said.
Stone said his party had received instructions not go to their room or play with the machines.
“Everyone got up and left,” Stone said.
An hour later security guards came out and told everyone to go to the back of the parking lot, she said.
“An hour and a half later, security came out and told everyone to go out on the grass and get away from the building,” Stone said.
Four hours passed and security came out and told everyone to leave, she said.
“They were waiting for the bomb squad to come and clear the building,” Stone said. “They offered to shuttle to Riverbend (Casino) for the night.”
“We had several people who didn’t have their medications, their vehicle keys, and their money,” Stone said.
Stone said his party was told late Saturday night that the hotel was open, but the game room won’t be open until Sunday morning.
“I personally wouldn’t go back tonight except to pick up my keys and my medicine,” Stone said.
Two evacuations in one day for Indigo Sky Casino and Resort
Saturday night’s evacuation of Indigo Sky due to a bomb threat wasn’t the only evacuation from the facility that day.
Early Saturday morning (7/30), Indigo Sky’s casino security manager was alerted to a possible threat on the casino floor.
The casino’s director of security said he could not specify what this “possible threat” was.
After discussing the possible threat with local law enforcement, who were called to Indigo Sky, it was decided that the threat was credible enough to issue a full evacuation order from the property.
At around 6:30 a.m., everyone on the casino floor, including hotel guests and employees, was forced to evacuate the building.
Law enforcement officers worked for two hours this morning until they finally determined the threat was not imminent.
The “green light” was given at 8:30 a.m., allowing everyone to enter the building.
Melanie Heskett, General Manager of Indigo Sky Casino and Resort, credits their emergency response plan for a quick and orderly evacuation.
“This plan was activated this morning and it worked well to deal with the credible threat at hand,” Heskett said.
Due to the evolving nature of today’s incidents at Indigo Sky Casino and Resort, we will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.
Suggest a fix