MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Crowds ran for safety on Sunday evening in response to a loud noise at Washington Square Park.
Many worried shots had been fired. Police determined no shots had been fired; fireworks were set off at the location, NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said. A heavy police presence could be seen in the area in the aftermath.
One person on Twitter said the “loud booms” did not sound like fireworks, noting they’d “never ran so fast for my life before.” Another person described almost getting trampled. The FDNY did not immediately respond to a request for information about any reported injuries at the scene.
It’s not the first time a loud noise has sent New Yorkers running. A dispute led to panic in Times Square in 2021. In 2019, people ran when a motorcycle backfired. Recently, a possible firecracker prank caused chaos at a Bronx mall.
All consumer fireworks are illegal to use, buy, sell, or transport in New York City.