Black Friday Panic: American Dream Mall in N.J. Temporarily Evacuated Amid Bomb Threat Tensions

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Business / Saturday, 25 November 2023 07:03

"Black Friday Chaos: Bomb Threat Prompts Evacuation at American Dream Mall in N.J."

New Jersey's American Dream mall, the second-largest mall in the United States, experienced a tense Black Friday morning as it was swiftly evacuated just minutes after opening due to a bomb threat. According to police reports, at approximately 7:13 a.m. ET, a person alerted authorities about a purported bomb within the facility, prompting the immediate evacuation of the sprawling shopping center in East Rutherford.

The New Jersey State Police, deploying bomb and K-9 units, meticulously searched the entire mall for explosive devices. Fortunately, the threat was later deemed unfounded, and no such devices were discovered. The mall, a popular destination for holiday shoppers, was reopened around 9:15 a.m., ensuring that shoppers and retail workers could resume their activities.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the New Jersey State Police emphasized the cautious approach, stating, "The mall has been deemed safe, and American Dream will be returning to normal operations. This is still an active investigation, and there is no additional information available."

American Dream echoed this sentiment, assuring the public that the evacuation was a precautionary measure prioritizing the safety of employees and guests. The mall's statement to CNBC read, "The center has already re-opened. We look forward to a joyous and safe holiday season."

Governor Phil Murphy took to social media, posting about the incident on X (formerly known as Twitter) and urging shoppers to follow law enforcement instructions for a safe exit. "We will remain vigilant to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season," he stated after the mall's reopening.

The evacuation occurred on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, heightening concerns amid the large crowds seeking holiday deals. Black Friday has historically seen incidents of fights and stampedes, and the recent surge in mass shooting events across the country has added an extra layer of apprehension for retailers.

As investigations into the bomb threat continue, the American Dream mall aims to maintain a secure and welcoming environment, encouraging shoppers to embrace the holiday spirit despite the morning's unsettling events.

In conclusion, the Black Friday bomb threat at New Jersey's American Dream mall, though deemed non-credible, cast a shadow over the bustling holiday shopping season. The rapid and well-coordinated response from law enforcement, including the New Jersey State Police's bomb and K-9 units, ensured the safety of shoppers and staff. As the mall swiftly reopened, both authorities and American Dream management emphasized the priority of safety and the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Governor Phil Murphy's call for vigilance and adherence to law enforcement instructions underscores the unique challenges faced by retailers during the holiday season, especially on high-traffic days like Black Friday. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for heightened security measures in public spaces, given the historical context of incidents such as fights and stampedes during this frenzied shopping day, as well as the unfortunate rise in mass shooting events.

Despite the unsettling start to the day, American Dream remains committed to providing a secure environment for shoppers, expressing optimism for a joyous and safe holiday season. As the investigation unfolds, the focus shifts to maintaining a sense of normalcy and ensuring that the spirit of holiday shopping prevails over the brief disruption caused by the morning's events.