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CNN building evacuated after bomb threat

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CNN broadcasters have been forced to evacuate their New York building during a live show because of a bomb threat.

Staff in offices and studios fled the 24-hour news network’s building after several fire alarms went off about 10.30pm.

Anchor Don Lemon tweeted that staff were evacuated in the middle of his live show, with the station now showing taped programming.

He said the New York Police Department was investigating after “someone called in and said there are 5 bombs in the building”.

“We’re hoping this is a hoax,” he said.

Another anchor, Brian Stelter, and others on social media noted the threat came an hour after President Donald Trump tweeted that fake news was the “enemy of the people”.

“I know journalists across the United States who worry about their safety because of these attacks from their president,” Stelter said.

Mr Stelter has since shared a statement from CNN president Jeff Zucker that the building is now safe for people to return.

“Earlier tonight there was a bomb threat called in to the CNN offices in New York,” he said.

“As a result we ran taped programming for about half an hour, and then went live from the street outside while the investigation continued.

“The NYPD has now given us the all clear, and employees have been permitted to return to the building.”

Mr Stelter and Mr Lemon started live streaming on their iPhone through Skype.

In October the bureau was targeted when bomb threats triggered mass evacuations and placed the United States on high alert.

Secret Service agents intercepted what were believed to be pipe bombs, with New York City’s police commissioner saying the package sent to CNN’s offices at the Time Warner building contained a crude but “functional” device and an envelope containing white powder.

At the time Mr Zucker lashed out at Mr Trump, criticising the seriousness of his attacks on media.

“There is a complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” he said.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, a Florida supporter of Mr Trump’s, was arrested on October 27 over the incident.

He received 30 charges and faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted.

Source: Stephanie Bedo@stephanie_bedo