CNN studios in New York abruptly evacuated after reported bomb threat

The New York Police Department is investigating an alleged bomb threat at Columbus Circle, according to a tweet from CNN host Brian Stelter. When reached by INSIDER, the NYPD said they are investigating an incident.

Shortly before 12 a.m. ET, CNN’s Don Lemon announced on air that they were given the “all clear” to return to the building after being evacuated.

The twitter account for NYPD Midtown North tweeted the following at 11:54 p.m.: “UPDATE: Out of the abundance of caution, 25 Columbus Circle was evacuated. Members of NYPD ESU & SRG have completed a sweep of the building & deemed it safe. The building has been reopened. The pedestrian freeze has been lifted & traffic on W 58th St. will be opened shortly.”

An “unsubstantiated telephone threat” came through to the Time Warner Center, according to NBC New York. The caller said there were five bombs in building. An initial sweep of the building by security did not find a threat, but the NYPD are now investigating.

“Around 10:35pm, a bomb threat was called into the Time Warner Center & the building was evacuated,” NYPD News tweeted. “The threat has not been substantiated at this time; we’re on scene performing a comprehensive sweep-and-search of the facility. We’ll share more info as it becomes available.”

In a previous tweet, the NYPD asked the public to “please avoid this area.”

It’s not clear if the threat was specific to CNN. The NYPD commented to INSIDER that there are many businesses in the building not just CNN.

At 10:42 p.m ET, Stelter tweeted saying that the office had been evacuated, interrupting host Don Lemon’s live show, which briefly went to already recorded programming, before Lemon resumed his show from the streets of New York.

The report came shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted in all caps “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” at 10:08 p.m. ET.

In October, a series of suspicious packages, alleged to be pipe bombs, were sent to prominent officials— including one addressed to the Time Warner Center and former CIA director John Brennan, who currently works as a CNN commentator. The suspect Cesar Sayoc was taken into custody.

This is a developing story.

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