Falls Church building with abortion clinic evacuated twice, once for bomb threat

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FALLS CHURCH, VA -- A Falls Church building that contains an abortion clinic was evacuated twice on Thursday, including one time for a bomb threat.

The first evacuation came around 9:30 a.m.

"Police received calls of smoke and loud noises, like an explosion, happening inside the building," said Falls Church Police Department Public Information Officer Susan Finarelli. She added that fireworks had been set off inside one of the building's elevators.

Police said no one was injured and nothing else was found in the building.

After people were allowed back in the building, there was a second evacuation around 12:30 p.m. when two notes were found near building entrances with the word "bomb" written on them.

Police cleared the building of any threat after a search lasting nearly two hours.

This was not the first time this building has been targeted by a bomb threat. Last July, a note was found in the building threatening a bomb. In that case, no bomb was found and no one was arrested for the threat.

Police would not confirm if the abortion clinic, Falls Church Healthcare Center, was the target of any of the incidents.

"This is a building with your typical doctor’s offices, lawyers, all that, and there is a clinic that provides abortion services as well. So we don’t know if these incidents are targeted towards that clinic, but certainly it is a point of concern," said Finarelli.

Following the all-clear, an employee of the clinic read a statement on its behalf thanking the police for their work and noted that these most recent threats come after a large anti-abortion protest outside the clinic this past weekend.

"Pro-choice healthcare centers have experienced an increase in harassments, threats, and the presence of protesters since the election," added Katy Crigler.

Going forward, police said they will interview all the building tenants and look for any surveillance video. They add because police are at the building so often because of protests, they are going to see if any of their dash cameras might help ID a suspect.

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