A bomb scare closed New York’s Grand Central Station during the Oscars ceremony last night after a man reportedly called 911 claiming a device ‘would explode in 13 minutes’.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shut down its shuttle service between the station and Times Square and told trains 4,5 and 6 to bypass the affected area.
There were also initial reports the station had been evacuated and confusion reigned as neither the MTA, NYPD or Metro North would confirm the cause of the emergency.
However, after a 30-minute search by the NYPD, no bomb was discovered.
The alarm was apparently triggered when a man rang 911 at around 9pm saying a ‘bomb will go off in 13 minutes’.
NYScanner reported that the bomb squad had been despatched and the area evacuated.
The NYPD would not comment on whether there had been a bomb threat and initially referred inquiries to the MTA.
At 9.40pm, a spokesman for the MTA subway system confirmed that the Times Square shuttle had been shut down, and 4, 5 and 6 trains were skipping the station temporarily.
But it would not say what the cause was and told journalists to go to the commuter railroad, Metro North, for any inquiries, it was reported by DNAinfo.
A spokesman for the Metro North Railroad, which handles railroad operations at the station in turn called the operation ‘an NYPD investigation’ and said ‘there is nothing wrong at Grand Central Terminal, which is what the MTA handles’.
It was only at 10.15pm, when trains returned to normal that the MTA suggested the situation had been caused by a bomb scare.
MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said: ‘My understanding is that it was bomb threat, but that’s all I know. I don’t know anything about the terminal, and the NYPD is taking the lead on it.’
At 11pm, the NYPD had still not confirmed whether any bomb scare had occurred.