9 injured in Times Square panic after motorcycle backfire mistaken for gunshots

TIMES SQUARE — No shots were fired, but the loud noise of a motorcycle backfiring caused a panic in Times Square on Tuesday night, injuring 9 people, six of which were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, the FDNY said.

Police said they received multiple 911 calls and urged people not to panic. Officials noted Tuesday night the “Times Square area is very safe.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio also tweeted Tuesday night confirming “Times Square is safe and secure.” De Blasio added, “but what people felt was all too real. Nobody should have to live in constant fear of gun violence.”

“Having a mob of people yelling and running at you in/near Times Square is probably the scariest thing I have ever been in,” one woman tweeted.

The FDNY said Wednesday that nine people suffered minor injuries, six of which were transported to area hospitals, due to people rushing away from the area in panic.

Surveillance footage exclusively obtained by PIX11 shows customers in Junior’s Cheesecake scrambling amidst the chaos.

One person captured video of a crowd running through the street.

Some on Twitter thought there had been an explosion because of the noise.

“In Times Square. There was a loud sound (later heard it was a motorcycle backfiring) and everyone panicked,” one person tweeted. “Running en masse, men yelling ‘Get down!’ Separated from my brother, but now fine. Freaky experience.”

One person described “a sea of people” running in fear.

Many people ran into buildings and stores.

“Was near #timessquare and got caught up in a stampede of people who were running from something,” one person tweeted. “We ended up going into the lobby of an building, and after a few minutes a cop came in and said everything was fine, it was just a car backfiring. Just another day in America.”

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