US university on lockdown after reports of gunfire

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The University of South Carolina was on lockdown Thursday following reports that shots were fired at its school of public health, officials said, before later declaring the threat had passed.

"Shots fired at New School of Public Health. Building is locked down. Seek safe shelter. Remain indoors. Obey officials," Carolina Alert, the state's online emergency warning system, tweeted.

It said the shots were fired at the university's Public Health Research Building in the state capital city Columbia, but did not say whether there were deaths or injuries.

About 45 minutes later, the online emergency system reported there was "no longer an existing threat on campus," but it said the school of public health and surrounding streets were closed.

The State daily newspaper reported that the building has been evacuated, and that police Swat teams were at the scene.