2 World Financial Center evacuated due to ‘suspicious package’

All 44 stories of 2 World Financial Center in Battery Park City were evacuated on April 12 for almost an hour because of the discovery of a "suspicious package." Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER | Shortly before 11:30 a.m. on April 12, all 44 floors of 2 World Financial Center in Battery Park City were evacuated.

A man who works in the building who did not wish to be identified said he received a message on his cellphone at 11:26 a.m. that read, “Suspicious package found. Evacuate.”

A man who works on the 21st floor, who also did not want to give his name, said a message came over the public address system that said, “This is not a fire drill. Evacuate.”

He said that he walked down from his office because he remembered that it is hazardous to use the elevators in an emergency. The evacuation was orderly, he said, but there was a backlog of people on the lower floors of the building and he had to wait for 15 to 20 minutes before being able to exit.

A woman who works on an upper floor of the building who was wearing stiletto high heels said she had taken the elevator down. Another woman who works on the 40th floor said she had walked down. All said they were scared.

An N.Y.P.D. spokesman said that the building was evacuated because of, “An inert, imitation grenade that was mailed via the U.S. postal service and received at the loading dock area of 2 World Financial Center.” The spokesman said that the source of the package will be “pursued but it’s way too early to know [more about that].”

He said that police from the nearby World Trade Center Command were on the scene as well as the Emergency Service Unit and the Bomb Squad from the N.Y.P.D. The F.D.N.Y. also responded.

The “all clear” came at 12:19 p.m.

The evacuation proved a boon for local food businesses. Izzy & Nats deli at 311 South End Ave. was mobbed with customers, as were Benvenuti at 235 South End Ave. and Picasso Pizza at 303 South End Ave.