Shoppers temporarily evacuated from American Dream mall on Black Friday due to investigation

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Saturday, November 25, 2023
American Dream Mall evacuated due to bomb threat
Witnesses on the scene said the evacuation was confusing but was orderly and there was not chaos.

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- The all clear was given after the American Dream mall in East Rutherford was temporarily evacuated on Black Friday while police investigated a bomb threat.

Gov. Phil Murphy said that New Jersey State Police were investigating the threat after the mall opened early at 7 a.m. for holiday shopping.

All customers, tenants and employees were asked to evacuate the building out of an abundance of caution before 8:30 a.m. They were told not to use elevators.

Just after 9:15 a.m. an updated emergency alert was sent to cellphones saying that the situation was resolved and the facility was safe.

Witnesses on the scene said the evacuation was confusing but was orderly and there was not chaos.

"We all had to run and scatter for our lives before we know what's going on and hopefully nobody gets hurt and everybody is safe and I'm here by my car and I plan to go back in once the coast is clear, but it's sad this is how we have to live our life," shopper Annette Freedman said.

American Dream said in a statement it was "a non credible threat" and the evacuation was "out of an abundance of caution."

"American Dream was evacuated this morning following what was later deemed a non-credible threat," the statement said. "This was done out of an abundance of caution, as the safety of our employees and guests is and will always be our priority. The center has already re-opened. We look forward to a joyous and safe holiday season.

Gov. Murphy said they will remain vigilant to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season.

The American Dream is the second biggest mall in America and Friday is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

According to the National Retail Federation, about 130 million people plan to shop this Black Friday which is up roughly 3% from last year.

The organization is seeing the most people spend in store and online since it started tracking the data in 2017.

RELATED | Everything you need to know about Black Friday 2023


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