A powdery substance sprayed on the wall outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal sparked a minor panic in one of the city’s largest transit hubs during Wednesday’s rush hour, authorities said.
An unidentified man walked up and sprayed the substance on the outside wall of the bus terminal on Eighth Ave. between 40th and 41st Sts. about 9:15 a.m., sources said. Within an hour, investigators had determined the substance was non-hazardous.
After the substance was reported, commuters darted away as Port Authority police and National Guardsmen assigned to the bus terminal blocked the exits, preventing people from leaving from Eighth Ave.
Cops also closed down the two traffic lanes outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal to allow access for emergency vehicles.
Confused commuters expressed alarm.
“Just got shooed out of Port Authority by law enforcement, screaming ‘Go that way!’” tweeted Danielle Ivory. “No one was allowed to leave at the 8th ave exit. Saw some people in military gear as well.”
Commuters were told to exit on the Ninth Ave. side. Subway access to the mezzanine level was also temporarily blocked.
Hazmat crews dispatched to identify the substance quickly determined it was not hazardous, officials said.
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