Hard hats and pieces of cloth linked to form the words SOS,  placed by protesters, are seen on the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. A major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened on Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of a nearby university appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the city's anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police said Wednesday that they will enter a blockaded university to clean up hazardous material before lifting a 10-day siege, after civilian search teams found no evidence of any protesters still holding out.

Police district chief Ho Yun-sing said safety teams comprising explosive disposal experts will move into Polytechnic University on Thursday morning to gather evidence and remove stockpiles of dangerous items including petrol bombs and corrosive liquid.

The decision came after university search teams completed a second day of combing the trash-littered campus and failed to find anyone left behind, Ho said. On Tuesday, one person was found — a young woman in weak condition.

“Our ultimate goal is to restore the safety of the campus and to reopen the campus as soon as possible,” Ho said, adding that university staff will assist in the cleanup.

The university earlier said in a statement that many laboratories and facilities on the campus had been vandalized, and that some chemicals and dangerous goods were missing.

Hardcore protesters occupied the campus nearly two weeks ago after blocking the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and set toll booths on fire during clashes with police. Some 1,100 protesters have left or were arrested by police.

The tunnel, which links Hong Kong Island to the rest of the city, reopened early Wednesday after a two-week closure, to commuters’ relief.

Calls for police to end their siege escalated after the pro-democracy camp won a stunning victory in local elections Sunday, delivering a stinging rebuke to city leader Carrie Lam’s tough line on the protests, which are in their sixth month.

Lam has offered no concessions, saying only that she would accelerate dialogue and look for ways to address societal grievances.

“Carrie Lam is the goddess of democracy. She has single-handedly motivated and galvanized us to fight for democracy,” an activist, who only gave her name as Tham, said mockingly during a Tuesday night rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui district.

Tham, who works in South Korea, said in an online livestream of the rally by the Apple Daily newspaper that she had returned to Hong Kong to cast her ballot.

Echoing what many protesters feel, she said the election outcome cannot be viewed as a victory, as the demonstrators’ demands — including free elections for the city’s leader and legislature and a probe into alleged police misconduct — have not been met.

“This election doesn’t mean anything because we have not achieved our goals,” she said.

A lull in violence that began days before the elections has continued as protesters in the largely leaderless movement weigh their next step amid Lam’s refusal to compromise. Small, peaceful rallies have popped up this week during lunchtime and at night in some areas.

Lam has said the central government in Beijing did not blame her for the election setback, which saw the pro-democracy bloc win control of 17 out of 18 district councils. While it may have reflected unhappiness with the government’s handling of the unrest, she said Tuesday that it also showed that many people want an end to the violence.

Lam said she hopes to resume her community dialogue and will set up an independent review committee to find solutions to deep-seated societal issues.

Some analysts said Lam has lost all credibility with the election loss and Beijing could replace her before partial elections for legislature members next year.

The protests started in June over an extradition bill seen by protesters as an erosion of their freedoms promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997. The movement has since expanded into a protest over what they see as Beijing’s growing interference in the city.

Some analysts believe that China’s ruling Communist Party isn’t likely to soften its stand on Hong Kong, but it is treading cautiously amid trade talks with the United States. It also faces pressure from planned U.S. legislation that could derail Hong Kong’s special trade status and sanction Hong Kong and China officials found to violate human rights.

President Donald Trump has been ambiguous over whether he will sign or veto the Hong Kong bill amid warnings of countermeasures from Beijing.

Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House that his message to Hong Kong protesters is “We are with them." At the same time, he also cited his "very good relationship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said the U.S. was in the final stages of a trade deal.

Regardless, the bill will become law 10 days from the time of its passage last week without Trump’s endorsement. If he vetoes it, Congress can also override it.

___

Associated Press videojournalist Joeal Calupitan contributed to this report.

University staff members inspect the campus of Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. A major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened on Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of the university appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the city's anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Police block off an overhead bridge to open up the Cross-Harbor tunnel access near the  Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened on Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of the university appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the city's anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Vehicles move through the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, which has reopened, in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The major tunnel has reopened in Hong Kong after a two-week closure because of anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Traffic moves through the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, which has reopened, in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The major tunnel has reopened in Hong Kong after a two-week closure because of anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Vehicles move through the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, which has reopened, in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The major tunnel has reopened in Hong Kong after a two-week closure because of anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
This photo shows the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, which has reopened, in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. The major tunnel has reopened in Hong Kong after a two-week closure because of anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Vehicles queue up at the toll booths to enter the Cross-Harbor Tunnel, which has reopened, in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. Closed by protesters who took over the neighboring Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the tunnel has reopened after authorities repaired the damages caused. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Office workers and pro-democracy protesters hold up their hands to represent their five demands wanted from the government as protests continue in Central district of Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. A major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of a nearby university campus appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the long-running anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A man wearing a mask of Chinese President Xi Jinping holds up his hand to represent the five demands wanted from the government as protests continue in Central district of Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. A major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of a nearby university campus appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the long-running anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A pro-democracy protester holds a placard and her hand to represent their five demands expected from the government as protests continue in Central district of Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. A major tunnel in Hong Kong reopened Wednesday as a weeklong police siege of a nearby university campus appeared to be winding down, closing one of the more violent chapters in the long-running anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. The placard reads