NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - False reports of gunfire caused panic at Penn Station and the nearby flagship Macy's store on Friday evening. the confusion apparently started when a police officer used a Taser on a man during an arrest. The sound or flash started the panic, which spread through the station. 16 people were injured in the stampede that followed.
It happened during a rush hour commuter train disruption that left thousands of people stranded in the train station at the start of the holiday weekend.
The NYPD said that no shots were fired. That didn't stop people from dropping their luggage and diving for cover when they didn't know what was going on.
Others raced out of the station and into oncoming traffic on 7th Avenue. At least one person fell into the street. Mayor de Blasio tweeted that the FDNY was treating injures from the chaos. The FDNY said that 16 people were injured in the stampede. Another six people were treated for various conditions on the train that was pulled into Penn Station after being stuck in the tunnel for more than 2 hours.
Children were seen crying outside of the station in the aftermath of the panic.
There were also numerous calls for shots fired in and around Macys, which is a block from Penn Station. Those reports were all unfounded and may have been from people yelling about the supposed shooting at the train station. The store was at-least partially evacuated during the scare according to witnesses.
Delays on New Jersey Transit trains grew to two hours out of the station by 8 p.m.