CNN's New York offices and studios were briefly evacuated late Thursday after receiving a phone-in bomb threat.
The network said several fire alarm bells rang inside the newsroom just after 10:30 p.m. ET, just as Don Lemon's CNN Tonight was on-air. The show was halted in the middle, forcing CNN to air pre-taped programming.
Just before midnight, CNN staffers were given the all-clear to return to the building.
"We were told to evacuate the building and to do it as soon as possible. We grabbed what we could and got out of the building and now, we are standing outside of the building," Lemon told his viewers. "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."
On Twitter, Lemon added that the New York Police Department is investigating. Before the all-clear was given, Lemon had to report using his cell phone outside.
Police told WNBC's Jonathan Dienst that the telephone threat was "unsubstantiated" and there is "no evidence of any explosives." However, police are still doing a search of the scene as a precaution.
CNN's Sarah Boxer reported the caller claimed there were five devices in the building.
CNN evacuated due to bomb threat. Now The NYPD has just given the all clear. Folks just now being let back into the building. @donlemon doing a great job reporting live from a cell phone outside. pic.twitter.com/UFgXSUX4i0— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) December 7, 2018
While the investigation is ongoing, police and fire trucks blocked off traffic on West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue at Columbus Circle.
The evacuation was called less than a half-hour after President Donald Trump tweeted, "FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"
In October, the Time Warner Center was evacuated after officials found a package with an explosive device addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan. The package was one of 14 packages addressed to prominent Democratic political figures, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN that authorities intercepted before they were delivered. None of the bombs detonated and no one was injured.
Cesar Sayoc of Florida was arrested and charged with five federal counts, including illegal mailing of explosives, and faces up to 48 years in prison. Sayoc's social media accounts showed he attended several Trump rallies and he allegedly drove a van showing his support for the president.0comments
In November, Sayoc pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled for July 2019, reports USA Today.
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