On Friday, 2,700 people were evacuated from the Statue of Liberty. Police said that a suspicious package in one of the lockers had been reported, and police were using dogs to search the property for any suspicious packages and ensure there were no bombs at the Statue of Liberty site.
Mike Burke, the head of Statue Cruises said the following about the evacuation of Liberty Island, according to NBC-2.
“Our first priority is the safety and well being of all of our visitors.” Because of the bomb threat, Burke said Statue Cruises would be “postponing all service to Liberty Island until the investigation is complete.”
Police received an anonymous call Friday morning, claiming that a package containing a bomb had been placed in one of the lockers. EMT and police units were dispatched to the scene as visitors were cleared from the site. Police used dogs to search the premises, and no bombs were found. After searching the suspicious locker, police also searched several other lockers at the scene to ensure there were no other suspicious packages.
Visitors were unaware of the bomb scare and quickly began to tweet about the incident.
Bomb threat at Statue of Liberty while I was there today. Had to evacuate a ferry on Ellis Island…
— Jody Ralph (@JodyLynn226) April 24, 2015
FOUND OUT TODAY THERE WAS A BOMB THREAT AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND THATS WHY THEY HAD MADE US EVACUATE
— ☾ L ☾ (@lydiaouellette) April 24, 2015
Visitors tweeted photos of what was happening during the evacuation, and one of the visitors expressed frustration over not being notified of what was happening, NBC New York reports.
“It was past frustration — it was nerve-wracking because you never know. Did somebody decide to do something to the Statue of Liberty?”
Evacuees were forced to leave their belongings behind. Statue Cruises said it would work with Park Police to ensure the items were returned. Passengers had the option of either rebooking their trips or receiving a refund.
The Statue of Liberty was slated to reopen on Saturday. Roughly 3.5 million visit the Statue of Liberty each year, and visitors are screened much the same way as in an airport screening.
An American icon, the Statue of Liberty was given to the American people in 1886 by the French people to celebrate 100 years of Franco-American friendship and also the centennial of the founding of the United States. President Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication.
[Photo Credit Mario Tama/Getty Images]