A bomb alert was called at Grand Central Station in mid-town Manhatan at noon (1600 GMT) on Thursday, throwing thousands of people into the streets and snarling traffic around the train terminal.
Scores of police, firefighters, and security personnel rushed to the station, clearing workers from neighboring buildings and moving people at least four blocks away.
A local television station reported that a suspicious package had been found in the area, and people immediately but calmly streamed away from the station, with office workers calling out to colleagues and telling to move to safety.
"Probably some damn school kids, pulling a prank," said Reginald Harris, a man in his fifties who works at the Bon Pain Cafe east of the terminal. "They think it's a joke."
He chatted with Johnny Davis, who works for the Metro North train system which serves his state of Connecticut from Grand Central.
"I told my boss I didn't want to come down here," Davis said as he walked away from the scene, explaining that he had been sent earlier in the day with paperwork for the network's headquarters at the train station – NEW YORK (AFP)
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