Statue of Liberty Reopens Day After Bomb Scare - NBC New York

Statue of Liberty Reopens Day After Bomb Scare

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    The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were both deemed safe Friday afternoon about 90 minutes after the attraction was evacuated over a phoned-in bomb threat and reports of a suspicious package, authorities said. John Chandler reports. (Published Friday, April 24, 2015)

    The Statue of Liberty reopened Saturday after a security scare forced thousands of tourists off Liberty Island on Friday.

    The island was deemed safe Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after the attraction was evacuated over a phoned-in bomb threat and reports of a suspicious package, authorities said.

    The popular tourist attraction remained closed the rest of Friday.

    Tourists were ferried off of the island after parks police patrolling with dogs near a locker area picked up the scent of a suspicious package shortly before 1 p.m., sources say. Around that same time, sources say, someone phoned in a bomb threat to the statue. 

    The NYPD's bomb squad was called to the scene and authorities conducted a security sweep of the area. An all-clear was issued at about 2:30 p.m.

    The scare set off a massive evacuation effort, and Statue Cruises said it transported 2,700 people from the island. Some had to leave behind their belongings during the evacuation; Statue Cruises said it will work with the National Park Service to return them to their owners. 

    Statue of Liberty Evacuated After Report of Suspicious PackageStatue of Liberty Evacuated After Report of Suspicious Package

    Several passengers who were ferried to Battery Park told NBC 4 New York they weren't told why they had to leave. Others had to stay on ferries during the investigation.

    "We were all sitting in the boat, no one would tell us anything," one passenger said.

    Visitors tweeted photos of long lines at a pier on Liberty Island. Many said the evacuation from Liberty Island was orderly but nerve-racking.

    "It was past frustration -- it was nerve-wracking because you never know," said one visitor. "Did somebody decide to do something to the Statue of Liberty?" 

    Ferry ticket holders who were held back can contact Statue Cruises to rebook or receive a refund. 

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