The “all clear” was given at Trump Tower Tuesday after a bag of toys left unattended caused a scare at the famous building, police said.
NYPD officers were called to the Fifth Avenue high-rise around 4:30 p.m. to investigate a suspicious package found inside the building near the Niketown entrance, causing at least the atrium to be evacuated.
Video posted to Twitter shows people running through the lobby of Trump Tower at the direction of NYPD officers. The evacuation has since been canceled, police said, and tower residents, employees and the public were permitted back inside.
Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted, “Back to work here at Trump Tower after a false alarm. Thanks NYPD.”
Trump Tower serves as President-elect Donald Trump’s transition headquarters and the skyscraper’s public atrium has become a popular destination for tourists.
Trump is spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and was not in the building at the time of the evacuation.
Security at the 58-story building has been significantly stepped up since Trump’s election in November. Fifty additional NYPD officers and traffic agents per day are positioned at Trump Tower to help with the flow of people and vehicles.
The city estimates the total cost of securing Trump Tower between Trump’s election and his move to the White House in January to be around $35 million. In early December, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked the federal government to cover the full amount, however, House Republicans only offered $7 million.
Several tourists visiting Trump Tower said they weren’t concerned about security, citing the visible presence of NYPD and private security guards and other safety measures and saying suspicious packages were a new normal in a post-9/11 world.
– With Emily Ngo