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CNN’s New York Offices Given the All-Clear After Bomb Threat Forces Evacuations, Shows Off Air

CNN employees are now safe to return to work after the network’s New York offices and studios were evacuated due to a phoned-in bomb threat Thursday evening.

The NYPD and CNN issued an all-clear message later that night after authorities determined the threat was unsubstantiated, CNN.com reported.

Don Lemon

Anchor Don Lemon was forced to report live from the street after CNN’s New York offices and studios were evacuated Thursday night. (Image courtesy of CNN)

“The NYPD has now given us the all clear, and employees have been permitted to return to the building,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker wrote in an internal memo to staff. “The building is secure and safe for everyone to return in the morning.

“We appreciate the swift action by the local authorities, and the patience and professionalism of all the employees who were impacted,” he added.

According to a police source, the incident unfolded shortly before 10 p.m. when an unknown caller indicated there were five devices inside the building. The threat sent several fire alarms a-ringing inside the New York newsroom, signaling an evacuation.

Employees quickly fled the Time Warner Center building where the network’s offices are housed. The furor also forced Don Lemon‘s show, “CNN Tonight,” off the air. The prime-time show was on a commercial break at the time, officials said.

“We were told to evacuate the building and to do it as soon as possible,” Lemon reported live from the street as authorities investigated the incident. “We grabbed what we could and got out of the building, and now we are standing outside of the building.”

He added, “All of the employees, all the people who were in the building as we were doing our live broadcast are out of the Time Warner Center now.”

The network briefly went to taped programming for about 30 minutes before going live again.

Interestingly, Thursday’s bomb threat was phoned in around the same time President Donald Trump fired off an angry tweet aimed at the “fake news” media, the kind of attack on the free press for which he has received criticism in the past.

“FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” the president tweeted at 10:08 p.m.

The incident comes just two months after the network’s offices were evacuated in October after a package bomb was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan. That package was just one of a dozen devices sent to prominent Democrats, including the Obamas, the Clintons and billionaire megadonor George Soros.

No one was hurt in that incident.

The suspect in those mailings, Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc, is charged with five federal crimes and could spend up to 48 years behind bars if convicted.

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