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Toy grenade prompts NYC office building evacuation

Office workers stand outside Two World Financial Center after it was briefly evacuated Thursday in New York. Authorities say an evacuation was ordered as a precaution after a security guard reported a package that seemed suspicious.

Office workers stand outside Two World Financial Center after it was briefly evacuated Thursday in New York. Authorities say an evacuation was ordered as a precaution after a security guard reported a package that seemed suspicious. Photo by The Associated Press.

NEW YORK (AP) — A toy grenade was to blame for an evacuation Thursday at a building near ground zero, authorities said.

The police bomb squad was called to 2 World Financial Center in lower Manhattan at midday when a security guard reported a package that seemed suspicious. Brookfield Properties, which runs the property, ordered an evacuation as a precaution.

Employees in business suits filed calmly back into the building after the New York Police Department declared the situation all clear about 90 minutes later.

Police said there was no threat, and no criminal investigation is taking place.

The bomb squad determined the package was a fake explosive that looked like a 1940s-style pineapple grenade. It was mounted on a plaque that said “Complaint department: Take a number,” with a number attached to the pin.

It was addressed to someone at one of the financial institutions housed there and discovered by someone in the mail room.

Several employees said an announcement came over the building loudspeakers telling them to evacuate as quickly as possible. Octavio Diaz was wearing a neon yellow backpack as he helped lead his co-workers out of the building to a nearby volleyball court, where they waited until the all-clear.

“Stuff like this happens, so you’ve got to take it seriously,” he said. “We’re ready to go.”

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