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VIDEOS: Motorcycle backfire causes panic in Times Square, sending shooting-wary New Yorkers and tourists running for cover

A backfiring motorcycle caused a brief panic in Times Square Tuesday tonight, as tourists and New Yorkers alike ran for their lives thinking someone was firing a gun.

Police received several 911 calls at about 9:45 p.m., and witnesses took to Twitter to describe people running in fear.

“In Times Square. There was a loud sound (later heard it was a motorcycle backfiring) and everyone panicked. Running en masse, men yelling ‘Get down!’ Separated from my brother, but now fine. Freaky experience,” one Twitter user wrote.

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The Times Square Earth Cam showed a birds-eye view of the scene, recording screams as hundreds of people cleared the street at the Crossroads of the World.

Police tried to sooth the nerves of people who may have still been on edge after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend.

“There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots,” the NYPD’s Midtown North precinct tweeted at 10:09 p.m. “We are receiving multiple 911 calls. Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe! @NYPDnews @NYPDTimesSquare.”

An NYPD spokesman said no one was injured in the panic.

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© 2019 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.