July 20, 2005

Thousands evacuated from NY mall in bomb scare

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of people were evacuated
from one of the largest malls in the United States on Wednesday
in a bomb scare that shut the suburban New York shopping plaza
for 3-1/2 hours, police said.

The evacuation followed the discovery of a package that
looked like a bomb in a third-floor men's room in the Palisades
Center mall in West Nyack, New York, 30 miles northwest of New
York City.

The device, which turned out not to be an explosive, was
destroyed in a controlled detonation, said Clarkstown police
spokesman Lt. Anthony Ovchinnikoff.

Police from several nearby towns assisted by state police
and the Rockland County Sheriff's Department joined in the
operation along with local fire departments, emergency services
and police helicopters, which circled overhead the sprawling
shopping center.

A bomb squad from Bergen County, New Jersey, was called in
to help along with New Jersey state police.

The mall reopened for business about 7 p.m. (2300 GMT).

Police had no suspects in the investigation, the Clarkstown
police spokesman said.