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Saturday
Apr152017

NYPD: Taser sparked false report of gunfire at New York's Penn Station

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What began as long delays at Pennsylvania Station in New York turned into a nightmare on Friday after a false report of shots fired caused a stampede.

Photo and video from the scene showed luggage, clothing, and food left behind as travelers fled the train station in a panic. Approximately sixteen people were hurt with non-life-threatening injuries, according to FDNY.

The chaos began after Amtrak Police deployed a taster when taking two people into custody for disobeying orders at Penn Station. NYPD Manhattan South Chief Bill Morris said at a press conference Friday night the Taser was "the likely source of the sound and the ensuing 911 calls."

 

 

"Given our experience, dealing with similar situations, we were able to quickly review all of the 911 calls and determine that there were no actual shots fired," he said.

Penn Station was packed with commuters when the incident unfolded. Right before rush hour, a New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor train headed into New York became disabled in a Hudson River Tunnel due to loss of power. Because of the power problem, NJ Transit trains were subject to 90-minute delays just as people were trying to get home for the holiday weekend.

Officials said they noticed the mass panic just as they finished treating six passengers from the disabled train for non-life-threatening injuries.

"We were about to start to wrap up our operations when we saw the ensuing panic begin to start on the platform," FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Tom Currao said Friday night.

The chaotic scene happened about a week after an NJ Transit derailment caused mass delays and cancellations for commuters for several days, and three weeks after an Amtrak derailment created similar problems.

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