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Massacre campus ends 'gunman' alert

Virginia Tech officials have lifted a campus-wide alert that was issued after reports of a man holding what looked like a gun near a dining hall on the US university campus which was the scene of a mass shooting in 2007.

A spokesman said in an email: "the university community may resume normal campus activity".

Police had investigated across the site after interviewing the children, who officials said were attending a summer camp.

The email says there will still be a heavy police presence on the campus throughout the day.

The university had posted alerts on its website and official twitter account warning students and staff to stay indoors.

The school also sounded its emergency alarms and sent the alert by voicemail, text message and email.

Federal authorities fined the school in March after ruling that administrators violated campus safety law by waiting too long to notify staff and students about a potential threat after two students were shot dead on April 16, 2007, in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a dorm near the dining facility.

An email alert went out more than two hours later that day, about the time a student from South Korea, Seung-Hui Cho, was chaining shut the doors to a classroom building where he killed 30 more students and staff and himself. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

The school's alert system was also activated in 2008, when an exploded cartridge from a nail gun produced sounds similar to gunfire near a campus dormitory. It was the first time the system was activated after the 2007 massacre. After the shootings, Virginia Tech started using text messages and other methods besides emails to warn students of danger.

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