Ithaca Times

Commons re-opened after bomb scare Thursday afternoon

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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:56 pm

Ithaca's Commons is back open.

The City of Ithaca issued a press release around 7:15 p.m. this evening with more information about the incident and the response from public safety personnel.

According to the release, the Tompkins County 911 Center received a phone call around 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, with a report of a suspicious package outside of the Bank of America building on the Commons.

The Ithaca police and fire departments responded to the scene and evacuated people from the Bank of America building, as well as nearby buildings. Later, all businesses and apartments on the Commons were evacuated, and the entire downtown pedestrian mall was cordoned off with police tape as the investigation took place at the scene.

The Seneca County Canine Unit and the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.  Bangs Ambulance responded to the scene as well to provide emergency medical assistance if needed. 
The package was deemed to be non-threatening by the New York State Police Bomb Disposal Unit and was secured as evidence.  The Ithaca Commons and area businesses were re-opened to pedestrians at 7:00 p.m.
Official word of the re-opening came first from a post from Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick on his Facebook page (, downtown Ithaca's pedestrian mall has been re-opened to the public.

Here's what Myrick posted:

"The Commons has been reopened. The threat has passed without incident. Thanks to the State Police who responded to the scene and x-rayed the package. Thanks too to IFD and IPD for their quick response."


The Ithaca Fire Department posted the following on its Facebook page ( Thursday afternoon, alerting people to the situation:

"IPD and IFD are currently investigating a suspicious package near the Bank of America Building on the commons. Please avoid the area if possible to assist with attempts to cut down on congestion."

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance posted the following on its Facebook page (

"The Ithaca Commons is closed to all pedestrian traffic due to a temporary hazardous situation. Please find an alternate route and we'll let you know as soon as all is clear."

Reports from passersby at the scene indicate a box with the word "bomb" written on the side of it was left on the ledge outside the Bank of America building, which also was indicated in an e-mail from Jean McPheeters, president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Thursday evening.

The city press release noted that investigation into the incident is ongoing and anyone with information about the case is encouraged to report it to the Ithaca Police Department by calling (607) 272-9973.

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