NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was widespread panic Tuesday night in Times Square after crowds mistook a backfiring vehicle for another mass shooting in America.
According to police, at least one motorcycle backfired near near Seventh Avenue and 46th Street multiple times just before 10 p.m.
— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) August 7, 2019
Authorities report that the vehicle was part of a large group of motorcycles travelling through the area at the time.
Unfortunately, because of the recent mass shooting in Ohio and Texas, many visitors in the area panicked at what they thought was another attack.
Please be advised that all is safe and secure in #timessquare 🌃. All reports of suspicious sounds were due to a large group of 🏍 cruising through the area on this nice evening. #connecting #protecting
— NYPD Midtown South (@NYPDMTS) August 7, 2019
According to multiple reports and several posts on social media, countless people in Times Square and in surrounding areas fled in terror.
Manhattan | 11 Times Square.
Motorcycle backfiring mistaken for gunshots. pic.twitter.com/LXoKUKRugJ
— New York City 911 (@NYC_Alerts911) August 7, 2019
Some social media users claim panicked individuals screamed “shooter” after hearing the backfiring motorcycle – sending more people stampeding in fear.
So we’re in Times Square and everyone starts running and screaming “SHOOTER.” So we start running and bust into Richard Rodgers Theatre: The Home of Hamilton. Everyone is frantic and crying and Beth and I are SHAKING bc we’re on the stage where @Lin_Manuel preformed pic.twitter.com/s5l36dqUqZ
— nichole elise (@nichole_5909) August 7, 2019
Several pedestrians were reportedly injured during the stampede. An exact number of injuries has not been determined, but none of them are said to be life-threatening.
Authorities say most of the wounds range from bumps and bruises to lacerations.
Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this developing story.