Panicked downtown Miami crowd sent fleeing when bomb scare cuts short fireworks show

Downtown Miami residents saw their Fourth of July fireworks celebration cut short by a bomb scare that caused many to flee for their lives out of fear.

With terrorism a legitimate concern when large crowds gather and American politics delivering so much hatred these days, police had event organizers halt the show after a suspicious package was discovered nearby, the Miami Herald reported.

The fireworks display was to run for 15 minutes, but was stopped about seven minutes in, according to Commissioner Joe Carollo, chairman of a trust that puts on the annual show.

“It’s a major disappointment for a lot of people,” Carollo told the newspaper.

Bayfront Park executive director Jose Solano said police instructed them to halt the show, according to the Herald.

“It’s disappointing,” Solano said. “I understand. They’ve got to do their jobs.”

Making matters worse, as Miami police began clearing out a nearby road, a panicked crowd was captured on video screaming while fleeing the area.

Order was restored in a relatively short period of time, though.

Miami police spokesperson Kenia Fallat confirmed to the Herald that officers cleared out a service road behind where the package was found, but she said they didn’t order a widespread evacuation of the crowded park.

The same message was tweeted by the official Miami Police Twitter account.

“We are currently on scene behind Bayside Marketplace investigating a suspicious package. The service road behind Bayside has been evacuated in order to allow our Bomb Squad to conduct their investigation. There have been NO evacuations to Bayside or Bayfront Park,” the tweet read.

The package turned out to be an abandoned suitcase and a Miami police bomb squad was dispatched to investigate — the suitcase would later be “deemed safe” after being “exploded” and determining that there was no bomb inside.

An update noted:  “The suspicious package was a suitcase & it has been deemed safe.”

And while there were a lot of disappointed folks, the good news is it turned out to be a “minor scare,” as opposed to a serious event.

As for the aforementioned political hate, given that Miami is a Democratic town these days, it didn’t long before someone blamed President Trump’s supporters.

It didn’t take any longer for someone to counter the irresponsible accusation:

But then, in post-Obama America, where being triggered over events around you is just cause for taking action, a social media user — sarcastically? — called for banning fireworks altogether.

Here’s a sampling of other responses from folks who may or may not have realized that the show was interrupted for safety reasons:

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Tom Tillison


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