New York April 25: The Statue of Liberty is safe on Friday after a bomb threat lead to a security sweep and the evacuation of hundreds of tourists from Liberty Island in New York Harbor, NBC’s local television affiliate reported, citing law enforcement sources.
The United States Park Police, which has jurisdiction over the island, could not be reached immediately to confirm the report on NBC 4 New York.
The evacuation was ordered after a telephone bomb threat, according to CNN and the Wall Street Journal. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police said she could not confirm such a threat, which CNN said was phoned in at about 11:30 a.m.
Ferry service to the island, which has some four million visitors a year, was suspended when the security sweep began, said Mike Burke, vice president of Statue Cruises, which operates between island and Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan.
“As a precaution, we are currently postponing all service to Liberty Island until the investigation is complete,” he said in statement.
Police dogs detected a suspicious scent on a package, the Journal reported, and CNN reported that the suspicious package was inside a locker.
The New York Police Department’s bomb squad was assisting in the security sweep, a NYPD spokesman said.
Video posted on Twitter showed crowds of tourists slowly shuffling onto ferries to be carried off the island, which lies between Manhattan and New Jersey near the mouth of the Hudson River.
The Statue of Liberty, one of the New York area’s most popular tourist destinations, was closed for nearly eight months due to damage to the island by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
“Waiting to be evacuated off #libertyisland. Interesting,” a person identified as Rick Borgmeyer wrote on Twitter.
Police officer and dog walking around perimeter. #libertyisland pic.twitter.com/wQSDDcUxqE
— Rick Borgmeyer (@flyingtigers) April 24, 2015