This story has been updated.
UPDATE April 24, 6:46 p.m. EDT: Authorities gave the all clear Friday after a locker on Liberty Island thought to contain a bomb was found empty, law enforcement officials said. A 911 call made earlier Friday, alleging a bomb had been planted on the island, was thought to have been a computer-enhanced recording, the website of New York's WCBS-TV reported. It was the second such bogus threat in two days, sources told the news station.
Bomb squads continued to sweep Liberty Island on Friday afternoon as a precaution but found nothing to indicate a threat. Nearly 2,700 people were ferried off the island starting around 1 p.m. Friday. “When we left the statue, they said we had to hurry,” one visitor told the Wall Street Journal. “They didn’t tell us what the problem was until we got on the boat.” Trips to the Statue of Liberty were canceled for the rest of the day. Visitors evacuated from the island were offered refunds.
Authorities evacuated Liberty Island on Friday afternoon following a phoned bomb threat and reports that a suspicious package was found inside a locker near the gift shop, CNN reported. Law enforcement and canine units fanned out around 1 p.m. to survey the island that is home to the Statue of Liberty, a popular tourist attraction in New York Harbor. A canine patrol reportedly led authorities to the locker containing the package.
A call came in to the United States Park Police around 12:30 p.m. that led authorities to believe a bomb may have been placed on the island. Hundreds of visitors to the Statue of Liberty were hustled onto ferries and taken away from the island. Images posted to social media showed crowds clogging the ferry ramps. Some social media users said it looked like bomb squads had arrived on the island.
It is unclear at this time whether the package contained an explosive device.