Ottawa County, Okla. – A bomb threat at the “Indigo Sky Casino and Resort” prompted the casino manager and local law enforcement to evacuate the gaming facility and adjoining hotel.
Melanie Heskett, General Manager of Indigo Sky Casino and Resort said the note was found in one of the casino’s bathrooms.
“The note seemed threatening and specific, stating that there was indeed a bomb at the site, although it did not say where it was,” Heskett said.
Heskett could not say who found the note, but after it was found at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday (7/30), the evacuation process began.
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Police Department, along with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Bomb Squad (OHP), Tulsa Police Bomb Dogs and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) all responded to Indigo Sky.
Heskett said bomb-sniffing dogs from the Tulsa Police Department and the OHP Bomb Squad searched the entire facility for several hours, inside and out, but were unsuccessful. not find all the explosive device(s).
As a precaution, Indigo Sky’s sister gaming facility, “Outpost Casino” was also evacuated and searched for explosives.
No explosive device was found at the location either.
“The security threat plan that involved a full evacuation went well. It went as smoothly as we could have hoped. We had a lot of people on our floor and a lot of stuff on Saturday night. The plan we put in place and the practice worked well. I always say, ‘If you see one something, say something,’ and our staff did it as soon as it happened. We alerted the guests and the team members agreed. All of them were great. Obviously, there are some who are not satisfied, but we expect that and we hope that they continue to trust us for security and their entertainment needs,” Heskett said.
“We will work with law enforcement to identify the person who left this note in the bathroom,” Heskett said.
After the bomb sweep was over, the Indigo Sky hotel reopened around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.
The casino, however, will remain closed until 8:00 Sunday.
Heskett said that people who left personal belongings on the gaming floor, as well as game chips, progressive jackpot winnings and slot machine tickets can begin to redeem those items, starting at 08:00 tomorrow (7/31).
For more information, you can contact Indigo Sky Casino and Resort at (888) 992-7591.
“The process of investigating the bomb threat will begin immediately and will be conducted primarily by the Eastern Shawnee Tribal Police Department,” Heskett said.
Saturday night’s evacuation due to a bomb threat at Indigo Sky was not the only evacuation of the facility.
A mandatory evacuation of the entire facility was issued around 6:30 Saturday morning, due to a “possible threat” on the casino floor.
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Witnesses Describe How Saturday Night’s Evacuation Happened
“I arrived at 6 p.m. and decided to eat at the bar and grill,” said Hugh Smith, of Springdale, Ark.
Around 7pm someone came into the restaurant saying everyone had to leave, he said.
“We left food and everything,” Smith said. “The workers were shouting at people to run and there was no time to wait for anyone or cash out.”
After waiting, Smith said he heard from a friend that casino officials told everyone to back up as far as possible and they locked down the parking lot.
“We got there at 4 p.m.,” said Tanya Stone, of Anderson.
Stone said he was eating dinner when security arrived.
“They announced ‘everyone please get up and evacuate the building to the nearest exit,'” said Batu.
Batu said that his party ordered not to go back to their room or play with the machine.
“Everybody’s up and out,” Stone said.
An hour later, a security guard came outside and told everyone to back off in the parking lot, she said.
“An hour and a half later, security came out and told everyone to go to 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,” Batu said. “They offered to shuttle people to Riverbend (casino) for the night.
“We have some people who don’t have their medication, their vehicle keys and their money,” Stone said.
Stone said the party was told late Saturday night that the hotel was open, but the gaming floor would not open until Sunday morning.
“I personally wouldn’t have come back tonight other than to get my keys and medicine,” Stone said.
Two Evacuations In One Day For Indigo Sky Casino and Resort
Saturday night’s evacuation at Indigo Sky due to a bomb threat was not the only evacuation of the facility.
Early Saturday morning (7/30), the director of casino security for Indigo Sky was alerted to a possible threat on the casino floor.
The Casino Security Director said he could not explain what the “possible threat” was.
After discussing the possible threat with local law enforcement, which is called Indigo Sky, it was decided that the threat was credible enough to issue a full evacuation order of the property.
Around 6:30 am, all people on the casino floor, including hotel guests and employees, were forced to evacuate the building.
Law enforcement officers worked for two hours this morning until they finally determined that the threat was not eminent.
The “all-clear” was issued at 8:30 am, so everyone can re-enter the building.
Melanie Heskett, General Manager for Indigo Sky Casino and Resort, attributes their emergency response plan to quick evacuation and nurses.
“The plan was activated this morning and it is working to deal with a credible threat,” Heskett said.
Due to the evolving nature of today’s events at Indigo Sky Casino and Resort, we will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.