Thorough Sweep Of Statue of Liberty Turns Up No Explosives

NEW YORK (AP) -
A New York Police helicopter circles over Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty was evacuated with officers responding to a report of a suspicious package seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A New York Police helicopter circles over Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty was evacuated with officers responding to a report of a suspicious package seen from Jersey City, N.J., Friday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A bomb threat made by an anonymous 911 caller forced the evacuation of hundreds of tourists Friday from the Statue of Liberty, but a thorough sweep of the landmark by investigators turned up no explosives.

The caller made the threat late Friday morning, “stating they were going to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” the National Park Service said in a statement.

Federal police, including two canine units, investigated and the dogs found “an area of interest” in a locker area at the statue’s base, the agency said. Law enforcement then decided to evacuate the island as a precaution.

Nothing harmful was found in the lockers, according to New York Police Department spokesman Steve Davis. But the NYPD bomb squad and federal authorities continued sweeping the area for much of Friday afternoon as a precaution, he added.

Statue Cruises, which operates the ferries that carry tourists to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, said it safely evacuated 2,700 people from the island. It offered them refunds and help getting back any items left behind.

Service to the island resumed Saturday morning.