Great panic in the U.S. after motorcycles backfiring thought to be gunshots
Thousands of people shocked of fear who thought the exhaust burst in Times Square was also a gunman attack, in the United States, which has been rocked by gunfire in recent days.
Security has been stepped up in major cities across the country following gun attacks in the US that have killed dozens in recent weeks.
A huge panic of gunfire spread among people last night in Times Square, which is among the city's most important tourist attractions in New York.
Tens of thousands of people in the Square thought repeated a motorcycle exhaust explosion, a gun attack.
Thousands of people in the square lay on the ground, while some others tried to protect themselves by running unconsciously into the alleyways.
There have been numerous reports of gunfire in Times Square on the 911 hotline, with overnight emergencies reported.
Counterterrorism teams affiliated with the New York Police Department [NYPD], which operates in Times Square, were on alert after the blast. Police sent reinforcements to Times Square.
The fear grew further when the perception of armed attackers in the city's famous square was also posted on social media accounts. Multiple reinforcement emergency crews and ambulances were sent to Times Square.
New York Police announced to the public that there was no armed attack in the Square when it became clear that there was no armed attack in Times Square.
"There is no active shooter in Times Square," police said. "Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gunshots."
Posting that they are receiving multiple 911 calls, police asked people to not panic, "the Times Square area is very safe."
Several people reportedly were injured during the panic.
In the past 24 hours, gun attacks have been carried out in Texas, Ohio, and Chicago, killing about 30 people.