Straphangers fled a Manhattan subway station Tuesday morning in what police described as a moment of “mass hysteria" after fireworks were reportedly mistaken for gunshots.
The incident happened at the Central Park North-110th Street subway station in Harlem at about 9 a.m., and was sparked after riders thought a gun was on a 2 train, NBC4 reported.
According to CBS3, someone may have said something like "gun" or "shots fired" as a fight broke out between two people.
Witnesses at the station said they heard “run, run, “ as commuters stampeded to safety, some even leaving shoes behind.
Though some passengers believe they heard gunshots, police said shorty after the incident that they didn't believe there was ever a gun and said shots were never fired, calling the chaos an "incidence of mass hysteria," according to NBC4.
It was later reported that fireworks set off during the fight on the train, between two women, was what caused the "hysteria."
“[Two women] were arguing,” Billy Mitchell, told the New York Post. “I was about to enter the train [and] somebody let off two firecrackers. It was two kids, they lit off firecrackers and everybody ran. The firecracker sounded like a gunshot … So people panicked and they pushed each other. They trampled on everyone and a lot of people got injured.”
There were multiple reports of injuries, with several people taken to the hosptial. The injuries, however, were minor.
“As soon as the door opened… people started running out of the train. I just started running with them,” Lessley Rolin told CBS3.
Tuesday’s scare comes just over a week after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history left 49 people dead and more than 50 injured in Orlando, Florida. Following the attack, the NYPD said it was stepping up security, though there was no evidence of a credible threat to New York City.
“One thing is that you see it on TV, and then another is like when it happens to you, it’s like super scarier,” Rolin said. “You don’t even know what to do.”